Police sack PC who unlawfully killed ex-Ipswich Town star
- Credit: PA
A police officer found guilty of manslaughter after kicking and tasering former Ipswich Town star Dalian Atkinson has been sacked after a fast-track gross misconduct hearing.
Benjamin Monk was cleared of murder but unanimously convicted of manslaughter on June 23, with a judge saying the 43-year-old had used unlawful force which “carried a high risk of really serious injury”.
A nine-week trial heard Monk had kicked 48-year-old Mr Atkinson in the head at least twice after he was tasered to the ground.
The former Blues star, who also played for Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday, died in hospital after losing consciousness following his arrest near his childhood home in Meadow Close, Telford, in August 2016.
Monk, who was jailed for eight years, has now been dismissed without notice following a “special case” hearing chaired by West Mercia Police chief constable Anthony Bangham.
Mr Bangham said: “It is entirely unacceptable for police officers who are responsible for enforcing the law to break it themselves.
“Given that Pc Monk is now a serving prisoner, having been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of eight years, the only outcome (consistent with College of Policing guidelines) is therefore dismissal without notice.”
Mr Bangham said he recognised that the death of Mr Atkinson had had a “clear and devastating impact” on his family.
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He said Monk’s conduct had undermined public confidence in the police.
Monk’s QC, Patrick Gibbs, said Monk accepted that his conviction amounted to gross misconduct.
“It came down to the kicks and the jury found that in the heat of the moment he had gone beyond what was reasonable and convicted him," Mr Gibbs said.
“And for that it is inevitable that you will have to dismiss him.”
John Beggs QC, representing West Mercia Police, said: “Inevitably a conviction of this order, as admitted, constitutes discreditable conduct, discredits West Mercia Police and the wider police service, and is susceptible to only one rational outcome.”
The hearing, attended by Monk’s partner, sister and brother-in-law, was told the Pc had previously been commended for saving the life of someone who was suicidal.
Monk had also attracted many unsolicited letters of support from the public during his 19-year policing career, it was heard.
However, it emerged after the guilty verdict at Birmingham Crown Court that Monk had kept his job in 2011 despite failing to mention two criminal cautions when he applied to join the force.
The court was told that two cautions issued to him in 1997 and 1999 – for theft from a shop during a summer holiday job, and for being found drunk – were not disclosed on his application in 2001.
Disciplinary proceedings took place in 2011, at which Monk was found to have committed gross misconduct, breaching standards for honesty.
He was given a final written warning for a period of 18 months.
Relatives of Mr Atkinson said this meant Monk “should never have been working for the police” at the time of the incident.
Monk is reportedly the first police officer in England and Wales to be found guilty of unlawful killing over a death in custody or following police contact since 1986.