CPS seek retrial of police officer over Dalian Atkinson assault charge

CPS seek retrial of police officer over Dalian Atkinson assault charge
Criminal proceedings are active, CPS warns

Prosecutors are seeking a retrial of a police officer accused of assaulting former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson.

The Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) announcement came a week after the jury at Birmingham Crown Court were unable to reach a verdict on the case of West Mercia PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith. It convicted her former colleague PC Benjamin Monk of manslaughter.

Monk was sentenced to eight years after the court heard how he Tasered Mr Atkinson to the ground and kicked him in the head in Telford, Shropshire in August 2016.

Mr Atkinson, who had smashed a window while suffering a mental health crisis, died in hospital about an hour after an ambulance was called to the scene near his father’s home in Meadow Close, Telford, Shropshire, on 15 August 2016.

According to the charity Inquest, Monk is the first police officer in England and Wales since 1986 to be found guilty of unlawful killing over a death in custody or following police contact.

Ms Bettley-Smith, 31, was accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Prosecutors allege that she used unreasonable force in hitting Mr Atkinson with a baton after he had been Tasered.

Rosemary Ainslie, Head of Special Crime at the CPS, said: “The CPS has today informed the court that we will seek a retrial of PC Ellen Bettley-Smith for an assault on Dalian Atkinson occasioning actual bodily harm.

“We remind everyone that criminal proceedings are active and that Ms Bettley-Smith has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

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