Jury fail to reach verdict on PC accused of assaulting Dalian Atkinson

·1-min read

A jury has been discharged from reaching a verdict on a police officer accused of assaulting Dalian Atkinson with a baton after he was Tasered to the ground.

The case against West Mercia probationary constable Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, ended in a hung jury a day after Pc Benjamin Monk was convicted of the ex-footballer’s manslaughter and told he will face an “inevitable” prison term.

Jurors deliberated for more than 21 hours at Birmingham Crown Court before telling the trial judge they would be unable, even if given further time, to reach a verdict on a charge alleging Bettley-Smith used unlawful force.

Dalian Atkinson death
West Mercia Pcs Benjamin Monk and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith arriving together for a previous hearing. (Steve Parsons/PA)

She told her trial she used necessary force to defend herself and others, but prosecutors claimed she had exaggerated the threat posed by former Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town star Atkinson to “help” Monk’s attempt to justify excessive force.

A six-week trial was told Monk, 43, fired a Taser three times – including a single 33-second discharge – and left two bootlace prints on Atkinson’s forehead near his father’s home in Meadow Close, Telford, in August 2016.

Jurors took 18 hours and 48 minutes to reach unanimous verdicts on Monk, who is believed to be the first police officer since 1986 to be found guilty of unlawful killing over a death in custody or following police contact in England and Wales.

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