SENTENCED: Benjamin Monk given 8 years for killing Dalian Atkinson
PA - Joe Giddens
A police officer who unlawfully killed Dalian Atkinson by tasering him to the ground and kicking him in the head has been jailed for eight years.
Pc Benjamin Monk was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter after jurors heard that he left two bootlace imprints on the former Premier League star’s forehead – following an “excessive” 33-second Taser deployment.
Monk’s six-week trial was told he was “not honest” after the death of the former Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town striker, claiming to have aimed a single kick at the victim’s shoulder.
Mr Atkinson, who had smashed a window while suffering a mental health crisis, died in hospital around an hour after an ambulance was called to the scene near his father’s home in Meadow Close, Telford, Shropshire, on August 15 2016.
According to the charity Inquest, Monk is 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.
Passing sentence on Monk, 43, at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Melbourne Inman QC said: “You have let yourself and the force down.
“Although they were difficult, you failed to act appropriately in the circumstances as they developed and you used a degree of force in delivering two kicks to the head, which was excessive and which were a cause of Mr Atkinson’s death.
“The obvious aggravating factor is that you committed this offence while on duty as a police officer.”
The judge added: “The police play a central and important role in upholding the rule of law in our society. The sentence must reflect the importance of maintaining public confidence in our police.”
Monk, who the judge accepted had shown genuine remorse, was ordered to serve two-thirds of his eight-year sentence before being entitled to release on licence.
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