United Kingdom

Taser that PC fired at football star for 33 seconds was working properly, murder jury hears 

The Taser fired at Dalian Atkinson was working properly in tests carried out after the former football star's alleged murder, a court has heard.

PC Benjamin Monk, 42, is accused of using unlawful force by kicking the ex-Aston Villa striker in the head with 'substantial force', while PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, is accused of assaulting him with a baton.

Atkinson, 48, was tasered three times and had two bootlace prints on his forehead after the incident in Telford, Shropshire on August 15, 2016, the court has been told.

He subsequently died of cardio-respiratory arrest in hospital.

PC Monk denies the murder and manslaughter of Mr Atkinson and is on trial at Birmingham Crown Court where proceedings have entered their second week. 

Former footballer Dalian Atkinson, 48, (pictured) was tasered three times during an incident in Telford, Shropshire,back in 2016. He subsequently died of cardio-respiratory arrest in hospital

West Mercia PCs Benjamin Monk (right) and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith arrive at Birmingham Crown Court where Monk is accused of murder and Bettley-Smith is charged with assault

Today, an authorised Taser download officer told the jury that data was downloaded from the weapon after its use in Meadow Close, Telford, Shropshire, in August 2016.

The download officer, Sergeant Michael Waterworth, showed jurors the yellow X26 model Taser, held in a clear plastic exhibit bag, while giving evidence at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday.

Sgt Waterworth said he carried out tests to ensure that a single press of the trigger produced a standard five-second Taser cycle, and that a safety switch deactivating the weapon was working.

A third test was also conducted by Sgt Waterworth to ensure the Taser's 'extended' cycle - with the trigger pressed for longer than five seconds - was also functioning.

Jurors have heard that Monk is alleged to have fired the Taser at Atkinson three times - with the final deployment lasting 33 seconds.

After Sgt Waterworth described how he had downloaded data from the Taser on to a desktop computer at Shrewsbury police station, Alexandra Healy QC asked him: 'Did the Taser appear to have been operating properly as far as you were concerned?'

The officer replied: 'Yes, it was.'

Authorised Taser download officer Sergeant Michael Waterworth told the jury that data was downloaded from the weapon after its use and showed it was working properly (stock photo)

Pictured: Police at the scene of the incident in Telford, Shropshire on August 15, 2016

On the downloaded data, Ms Healy asked: 'Did you notice anything about the length of the activations when you did that download?'

Sgt Waterworth responded: 'Yes, it was a long cycle.'

Asked if the long activation period was something he was used to seeing during a Taser download, the officer said: 'That's very difficult to say.'

Monk, 42, is alleged to have intended to cause really serious injury to Atkinson, who also played for Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town, after two initial uses of a Taser proved ineffective.

Monk's colleague and then partner, Pc Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, is also facing trial.

She denies a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The trial continues. 

Football news:

Scotland coach Clarke: There were a lot of good moments during the group stage, but no points scored
England are the most boring group winners in history. Two goals were enough! And at the World Cup, the Italians once became the first even with one
Dalic - to the fans after reaching the Euro playoffs: You are our strength, and we will be your pride
Modric became the youngest and oldest goalscorer in Croatia at the Euro
Czech Republic coach Shilgava: We came out of the group and fought with England for the first place. We got what we wanted
Gareth Southgate: England wanted to win the group and continue to play at Wembley-and it succeeded
Luka Modric: When Croatia plays like this, we are dangerous for everyone