A serving police officer has been found guilty of killing the former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson. 

Pc Benjamin Monk, 43, Tasered Mr Atkinson for 33 seconds – more than five times longer than the standard length – and kicked him in the head at least twice as he lay stunned on the floor. 

Birmingham Crown Court heard how in the early hours of Aug 15, 2016, the officer had been called to Meadow Close in Telford to reports the former professional sportsman was trying to break into his father’s home. 

Monk attended the call with his then-girlfriend Pc Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, where Mr Atkinson was claiming to be the Messiah. 

After two previous Taser attempts had failed, Monk successfully discharged the device for a third time and held the trigger for 33 seconds.

The standard practice for officers is five seconds, the jury heard. 

Pc Benjamin Monk [pictured] has been found guilty of manslaughter

Credit: Jacob King/PA Wire

When Mr Atkinson lay on the floor, Monk kicked him so hard it left imprints of his bootlaces on the former footballer’s forehead. 

In defence, Monk claimed he had feared for his life, and thought he was going to die at the hands of Mr Atkinson. 

The court, sitting in front of the Honourable Melbourne Inman QC, was told by the prosecution that Monk kicked the unarmed Mr Atkinson because he was angry at being humiliated in front of his girlfriend. 

Jurors continue to deliberate whether Bettley-Smith assaulted Mr Atkinson with her use of a baton as he lay in the road outside his father’s house in Meadow Close.

The events leading up to Dalian Atkinson’s death

The Crown said the couple – who split up in 2018 – colluded to exaggerate the events in order to justify their violence. 

Bettley-Smith was still on probation at West Mercia Police when her and Monk, who had been with a police officer for 14 years, began their relationship.

Returning a verdict after more than five weeks of evidence, the jury found Monk guilty of manslaughter, but not guilty of murder.