Dalian Atkinson 'brought life and energy into any room' says sister in emotional court tribute

“Far from causing offence he would make us laugh at ourselves”, Dalian Atkinson’s sister has said in a moving tribute.

Dalian Atkinson died in Telford in 2016
Dalian Atkinson died in Telford in 2016

Mr Atkinson’s siblings and his partner Karen Wright were among those who provided victim impact statements at Birmingham Crown Court at the sentencing hearing for police officer Benjamin Monk.

All said they have struggled and had suffered difficulties since his death.

The West Mercia Police constable was last week cleared of murder but convicted of Mr Atkinson’s manslaughter, after a jury heard he Tasered him with a 33-second deployment of the weapon, and then kicked him twice in the head as he lay collapsed on the ground.

Mr Atkinson, 48, died a short time after the confrontation outside his father Ernest’s home, in Meadow Close, Trench, on August 15, 2016.

On Tuesday the officer was sentenced to eight years in prison for killing Mr Atkinson.

Among the statements read aloud by prosecuting barrister Miss Alexandra Healy QC were tributes by his sisters Elaine and Otis.

She said Otis described Dalian as not just being her little brother but her friend. “He was kind and loving throughout his childhood.”

Otis stated: “He brought so much life and energy into any room that he entered. He would say what no one else would dare – but far from causing offence he would make us laugh at ourselves.”

Elaine said that despite his success he stayed in touch with his relatives. Elaine stated: “I was always so proud of him.”

“I used to love to cook meals for him. I remember cooking meals for him in the kitchen. When he became ill I was there to support him. I cannot imagine losing Dalian in this way.

“I have not been able to return to work since this happened. I will always miss my brother,” she added.

Monk, who denied both charges, said he could only recall aiming one kick at Mr Atkinson’s shoulder during the incident outside the former Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town star’s childhood home

Mitigating on behalf, of Monk, Patrick Gibbs QC told the court that the 43-year-old’s mental health had been profoundly affected by the case.

Mr Gibbs: “As you can imagine Mr Monk has thought about Mr Atkinson and Meadow Close every day for the last four years and 10 months – reliving in his mind how these events might have ended differently.

“Perhaps there won’t ever be a day when he doesn’t think about that.”

Mr Gibbs said it was agreed that Pc Monk went to Meadow Close “for the best of reasons” before 59 seconds during which his conduct had been found to be unlawful.

“The 59 seconds stand not just at odds with the previous five minutes, not just at odds with the previous five years, but at odds with the whole of his police career. In fact, at odds with the whole of his adult life.”

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