Socialist Worker

Cops in Dalian Atkinson case ‘colluded’, court hears

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2754

Two cops have been accused of collusion

Two cops have been accused of collusion


The two West Mercia police officers, on trial over the death of former footballer Dalian Atkinson in August 2016, have been accused of “collusion”.

Benjamin Monk has been charged with murder and manslaughter and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith of assault in Shropshire.

Both deny all charges.

Cop charged with murder over the death of former footballer Dalian Atkinson
Cop charged with murder over the death of former footballer Dalian Atkinson
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Prosecutor Alexandra Healy QC said that Monk claimed in his first interview to have kicked Atkinson only once on the left shoulder.

She said, “The evidence of what other officers heard him say at the scene shows that he knew full well that he had kicked him in the head.”

Bettley-Smith, who the jury has heard was in a relationship with Monk at the time, has also been accused of backing his change in story.

Two independent pathologists agreed that “the prolonged period of Tasering and the kicks to his head made a significant contribution to his death”.

Patrick Gibbs QC, representing Monk, asked the jury to consider whether it is realistic or fair to accuse the officer of acting unlawfully.

And Richard Smith QC, representing Bettley-Smith, said her use of the baton on Atkinson following the Taser was “lawful” and her use of it was “necessary and reasonable”.

One neighbour, Jean Jeffrey-Shaw, told the court she heard one of the officers telling Atkinson, “Keep your head down I am not telling you again.”

She said Monk preceded to “stamp” on Atkinson.

Another reports to have heard Monk telling Bettley-Smith, “Fucking hit him.”

Julia Shilton added she saw Atkinson falling “like a ton of bricks” after being tasered and was then kicked “quite hard” five or six times.

The trial continues.


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