Police officers who Tasered Dalian Atkinson before he died could face criminal charges as file passed to prosecutors

Gareth Davies
The scene in Telford where police Tasered Dalian Atkinson (right) - Reuters/PA

Two officers who Tasered the former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson moments before he died could face criminal charges after a police watchdog passed a file of evidence to prosecutors.

The 48-year-old died 90 minutes after a West Mercia Police officer shot him with a stun gun in the street where he grew up in Telford, Shropshire, in the early hours of August 15, 2016. 

His death was passed to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, who have now briefed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for the consideration of potential criminal charges.

The IOPC  stated on Thursday: "The CPS referral marks the end of the IOPC investigation during which three West Mercia Police officers were interviewed twice under criminal caution and served with gross misconduct notices. The actions of the third officer have not been referred.

"The police constables had attended the incident in Meadow Close, Trench and were involved in detaining Mr Atkinson outside the address prior to him being taken to hospital by ambulance.

"Mr Atkinson died at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford on Monday 15 August, 2016.

"The investigation gathered evidence which indicates that police contact with Mr Atkinson involved the use of a Taser, followed by a period of restraint and other uses of force. " 

It was previously reported Mr Atkinson had been arguing with his father at the address. 

IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said: “On the basis of the evidence gathered I have decided to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider any potential criminal charges over the interaction two police officers had with Dalian Atkinson.

"This has been a lengthy and complex investigation and I am grateful for the patience shown by all concerned. We have kept West Mercia Police, Dalian’s family, and HM Coroner informed during the course of the investigation.”

The IOPC investigation report has also been sent to West Mercia Police to determine whether or not disciplinary proceedings should follow, and shared with HM Coroner to assist a future inquest.

Although a referral to the CPS is made when the IOPC investigation indicates that a criminal offence may have been committed, it does not always mean charges will be brought.