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Msn news. Dalian Atkinson: Police officer found guilty of killing ex-footballer


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PC Benjamin Monk had denied murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter in connection with the former Aston Villa star’s death almost five years ago.  https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/dalian-atkinson-police-officer-found-guilty-of-killing-ex-footballer/ar-AALlFqJ?ocid=msedgntp

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Five years since the incident and yet defining way more complex cases have been and gone in much shorter times.  I wonder if the defendant being a police officer was a time lapse factor.  That 5yrs can’t have been good for anyone involved or affected by the case.   

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This is not a normal case and is extremely complex. I should imagine that there are several officers and ex officers on here who have had dealings with arresting someone having a mental health episode, I know I have.  The strength that they can show is absolutely unbelievable. One incident I was involved in I was throw across a room as if I was a rag doll.  The officer was faced with, perhaps, two options. Leave Atkinson alone to attack his father and the family home or to intervene.  With the Court case result it could be argued that he took the wrong option.  The only problem was, that was his only realistic option but the jury did not agree.  I am just glad that I was not in the officers shoes.

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Then sentence handed down was one of  years imprisonment with a recommendation of serving 2/3 rds.  I was surprised to see new information that the officer had been convicted, 10 years ago, for failing to provide information on his application for the Force, that he had two previous "Cautions". One for theft and one for Drunkeness. It does not in any way mitigate his actions but does ask the question of how he passed vetting.

It does not alter my opinion that I would not have liked to be in his shoes at the time of the offence.  Mind you I would not have used Taser to subdue Atkinson. 

It is ironic that the family say what a nice understanding person Atkinson was when, it was his father who had to ring the police over Atkinsons criminal behaviour on that fateful night.

It is also a little sad that they are likening it to the Death of George Floyd and Black Lives matter. I do  not think that Atkinson ever threatened  armed with a hand gun to harm a pregnant woman holding the gun to her stomach.

Edited by Zulu 22
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And there but for the Grace of God go I.  As a PC anyone of us could be in Monk's shoes on any day of the week and what this case has shown is that there are slim margins when it comes to the use of force.  It looks like 2 things led to the guilty verdict  and those were the two kicks to Dalian's head and the  third use of taser for 33 seconds which the Judge said was unlawful.  

 

I feel sorry for Dalian's family but equally I have sympathy for Monk and his family.  I've got to wonder what failings if any in the NHS led up to Dalian's behaviour on the night, but as usual its been the police under scrutiny for his death and not what fault if any led to  that night.

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No one is a “winner” in this. I’ve followed this case with interest, but the reporting has not been fantastically forthcoming IMO. And maybe that shows the strength of the UK CJS compared with the Derek Chauvin show trial.

Not once did I hear the mention of s76 CJIA 2005, which is surely relevant in this case?

Not one member of that jury could put themselves in Monk’s shoes and one can only imagine the fear he and his colleague was in. It probably didn’t help his colleague was his partner at the time and this may have added to his emotions. Mental Health where violence is involved is not easy to deal with. End of. 

No doubt Atkinson needed help and it seems harsh the very reason Monk was there has been used against him as an aggravating factor in sentencing. In some respects I think it should have offered him some leeway.

I do hope further action against Bettley-Smith is dropped. But I fear at best she will lose her job regardless. At worst she might have to spend some time at HMP with the same aggravating factors used against her.

I do wonder if body cameras were available how this might have turned out. I try not to let mine determine how I police, but in truth I probably do and have changed since they’ve become mandatory. Would the incident have been dealt with differently, I can’t help thinking maybe. 

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I'm probably ploughing a lonely furrow here, but...

On 23/06/2021 at 13:50, Zulu 22 said:

The officer was faced with, perhaps, two options. Leave Atkinson alone to attack his father and the family home or to intervene.

...neither of these options included kicking Mr Atkinson in the head twice "like a football"

 

1 hour ago, POM0272 said:

Not once did I hear the mention of s76 CJIA 2005, which is surely relevant in this case?

...maybe because the force wasn't considered reasonable?

Edited by Billy Blue Tac
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28 minutes ago, Billy Blue Tac said:

I'm probably ploughing a lonely furrow here, but...

...neither of these options included kicking Mr Atkinson in the head twice "like a football"

 

...maybe because the force wasn't considered reasonable?

I’m with you, and I’d hope that furrow wasn’t lonely. Now everything has come out I can’t see how any officer can defend anyone kicking someone so hard in the head, twice, that it left the imprint of laces and was shown to be a major cause of death. 
I’ve only seen imprints of laces in a head a few times, twice on murder victims and once on a victim left with brain damage. 

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10 minutes ago, Reasonable Man said:

Now everything has come out I can’t see how any officer can defend anyone kicking someone so hard in the head, twice, that it left the imprint of laces and was shown to be a major cause of death. 

Admittedly, I don’t know the facts of the case. However, kicking someone in the head so hard that it left imprint of laces can be justified. In this case, I gather not. But it’s not impossible. Just like baton strikes to the head can be justified, or running someone over, or shooting them dead. 

The threshold of reasonable force here hasn’t been proven. But who knows the full extent of the situation at the material time. 

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