Police officer guilty of manslaughter of ex-footballer Dalian Atkinson
Atkinson died in August 2016 after being tasered and kicked in the head by the officer.
A police officer has been convicted of killing ex-footballer Dalian Atkinson, having been found guilty of manslaughter but cleared of a charge of murder.
PC Benjamin Monk had denied murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter after being involved in an incident with Atkinson in August 2016.
The 43-year-old officer was cleared of murder by the jury following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court, but was found guilty of manslaughter.
Monk had denied any wrongdoing and said he believed there had been a danger to life.
It is the first time an on-duty officer has been found guilty of manslaughter in the last 50 years.
Prosecutors in the trial had argued that Monk used unlawful and unreasonable force out of anger as he fired his Taser at Atkinson for 33 seconds before kicking him in the head.
However, Monk's team said that the 48-year-old ex-Aston Villa footballer was not motionless when he was kicked in the head twice "as a last resort."
The officer claimed that Atkinson was trying to get up when he aimed kicks at his shoulder in self-defence, after he ran out of Taser cartridges, the Independent reports.
He told the court that he ran in fear from Atkinson, as he appeared to be having a mental health crisis, made death threats, and smashed a glass door pane at his childhood home.
Atkinson suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest and later died in hospital following the incident near his father’s home in Telford, Shropshire, in the early hours of 15 August 2016.
The jury took 18 hours and 48 minutes to reach its unanimous verdict, with the trial having lasted three weeks.
They are still deliberating on an assault charge relating to Monk's colleague and former girlfriend, PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31.