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Dalian Atkinson died within hour of being shot by stun gun, court hears

·3-min read

The former footballer Dalian Atkinson was pronounced dead barely an hour after he was shot with a stun gun and kicked in the head by a police officer, a jury heard on Friday.

PC Benjamin Monk denies the murder or manslaughter of Atkinson, 48, on 15 August 2016.

Police were called at around 1.30am to Meadow Close in Telford, Shropshire, after Atkinson went to his father’s home and neighbours heard shouts.

The jury at Birmingham crown court has heard that police officers felt terrified, with Atkinson behaving erratically, shouting that he was the “messiah” and smashing a window, and that two attempts to use an electric stun gun failed to subdue him.

The court has heard a third use of a stun gun felled the former Aston Villa striker and left him on the ground. He was then kicked in the head twice, the jury heard.

He was rushed to hospital and, the jury heard on Friday, 64 minutes after the third use of a stun gun, which lasted for 33 seconds, doctors had to give up on their efforts to resuscitate him.

The jury has previously heard time records recovered from the stun gun show it was last used at 1.41am. After that, he was allegedly kicked at least twice to the head, with marks left on his right and left temples, and with sufficient force to leave boot print imprints on his skin.

His GP, Dr Ian Chan, read Atkinson’s medical history into the court record.

Atkinson was still breathing unaided when the ambulance left Meadow Close at 2.04am for the six-minute drive to hospital. He was placed into the ambulance on a trolley with his hands handcuffed behind his back, as police believed he could still be a threat. Soon afterwards he went into respiratory arrest.

Once in hospital, at 2.10am, efforts to revive him included a specialist crash team being called, as Atkinson’s heart had by now stopped. It was noted by medics that he was “cold to the touch”, Chan said, his pupils now showing no reaction.

The jury heard that despite 30 minutes of intensive efforts to resuscitate him, he was pronounced dead at 2.45am.

The prosecution has said its case is that the force used by Monk contributed to his death, with the violence being meted out in anger, not self-defence.

Chan detailed how the final years of the former Premier League star’s life were blighted by ill health. The court heard that in March 2012 Atkinson was diagnosed with high blood pressure and prescribed medication, which he did not take regularly. By July 2012, tests showed him suffering from kidney disease. One of the risks of those conditions, if untreated, was organ damage.

In March 2016 he was admitted to hospital after feeling unwell. His kidney disease was assessed as having deteriorated and was now acute. He said he had not been taking his blood pressure medication as he preferred natural alternatives. He began receiving dialysis in hospital for his failing kidneys two or three times a week.

In August 2016, Atkinson asked for a home visit from his GP. Chan said when he got to Atkinson’s home, the former footballer opened the door in his pyjamas: “You could tell he was laboured in his breathing.” Tests showed that he had a respiratory infection.

Monk is on trial with PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, who denies assaulting Atkinson. Both serve in the West Mercia force. The trial continues.

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