source: BBC News
published: 28 September 2022
A police officer has been found not guilty of assaulting an ex-footballer the night he was killed. Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith was accused of striking Dalian Atkinson with her baton when he posed no threat in August 2016, but claimed she was “very frightened”.
Mr Atkinson had been acting out of character outside his father’s house in Telford due to ongoing health issues and died after being tasered by PC Bettley-Smith’s partner, Benjamin Monk. He was jailed in 2021.
During PC Bettley Smith’s retrial at Birmingham Crown Court, jurors heard the two West Mercia Police officers were called to Mr Atkinson’s father’s home on Meadow Close in Trench late on 15 August.
The former striker, who played for Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town, was said to have been in a disturbed mental state – likely as a result of a build-up of toxins linked to renal failure.