Update: Police officer jailed for eight years for killing former footballer Dalian Atkinson


Update: Police officer jailed for eight years for killing former footballer Dalian Atkinson


A UK police officer has been handed eight years jail term for the manslaughter of former footballer Dalian Atkinson.



PC Benjamin Monk was sentenced after being convicted by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court last week.



Monk, of West Mercia Police, tasered Mr. Atkinson for 33 seconds, more than six times longer than the normal cycle, before kicking him at least twice in the head during a confrontation in August 2016.



Monk's conviction is believed to be the first time in modern British criminal justice history that a UK police officer has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a black man, according to Inquest, which supports the bereaved following state-related deaths.



He is also believed to be the first police officer in 35 years to be convicted of unlawful killing over a death in custody or following police contact in England or Wales.



On Thursday, jurors were discharged from reaching a verdict on Monk's partner Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, who was accused of assaulting Mr Atkinson with a baton after he was tasered to the ground.



Jurors took more than 18 hours to reach unanimous verdicts on the manslaughter charge against Monk. They cleared him of Mr Atkinson's murder.



The court heard the former Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town striker had been shouting in the street in the early hours of 15 August 2016 outside his father's house in Telford, and was demanding to be let in.



Monk fired a Taser three times - including a single 33-second discharge - and left two bootlace prints on Mr. Atkinson's forehead, the trial was told.



The 43-year-old claimed to have acted in reasonable self-defence while "terrified" of Mr. Atkinson, who had a heart condition, was undergoing dialysis treatment, and was smaller and lighter than the officer.



As well as the marks to both sides of Mr Atkinson's forehead, a pathologist found 15 areas of "under-the-skin" bruising, including marks to his neck, shoulder, shoulder blade, flank, buttock, thigh, bicep, elbow, and shin.


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