Trial of officers over star’s death delayed
PUBLISHED: 15:02 20 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:33 20 July 2020
The trial of a police officer accused of murdering former Ipswich Town star Dalian Atkinson has been relisted for next year because of timetable delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pc Benjamin Monk, 41, was charged last year with murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter in connection with an incident in 2016 in which Mr Atkinson was Tasered. Monk was allowed not to attend a pre-trial hearing at Birmingham Crown Court today (Monday July 20) to discuss an application by all parties to move the trial to Easter 2021.
The West Mercia Police constable’s colleague, Pc Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 29, was also excused from attending.
She has pleaded not guilty to assaulting Mr Atkinson occasioning actual bodily harm prior to his death on August 15, 2016.
Both officers, who are on unconditional bail, were charged following a three-year inquiry into the death of Mr Atkinson, who suffered a heart attack in an ambulance on his way to hospital.
Mr Atkinson, aged 48, died after police used a Taser during an incident near his father’s house in Telford, Shropshire.
The court previously heard Monk would formally enter his pleas to the charges on the day the trial begins, unless there was any further legal bid to the contrary, to avoid another potentially unnecessary hearing during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Mr Atkinson scored 18 goals in 60 appearances for Ipswich between 1985 and 1989. He later played for Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa and won one cap for England B. He retired from playing in 2001.
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