Shropshire: Dalian Atkinson murder case: PC ‘not honest’ in account of death

A police officer accused of murdering the ex-footballer Dalian Atkinson was “not honest” in police interviews or in the account he gave in court, the prosecution has told jurors.

Alexandra Healy QC said PC Benjamin Monk’s apparent lack of memory was “a barricade to shelter behind”.

PC Monk denies murdering Mr Atkinson outside the ex-footballer’s father’s home in Telford on 15 August 2016.

The 43-year-old also denies a charge of manslaughter.

Another police officer who was on duty with PC Monk that day, 31-year-old PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, denies assaulting Mr Atkinson with a baton.

The Crown alleges PC Monk murdered the retired former Aston Villa striker by excessive use of a Taser and kicking him in the head at least twice.

In her closing address, in the sixth week of the trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Ms Healy suggested to jurors that PC Monk’s apparent lack of memory about three facts was “convenient”, adding that “those three are facts that cause a great deal of damage”.

PC Monk has said he cannot remember kicking Mr Atkinson at least twice to the head, nor having his foot on the 48-year-old’s head when colleagues arrived, nor telling others at the scene he had kicked him in the head.

Ms Healy said: “He was not honest in his interview and he has not been honest with you about his actions that morning and about his reasons for it.

“Mr Monk told his colleagues in the early hours of that morning that he had kicked Dalian Atkinson to the head.

“He expects you to believe that when he was interviewed only 10 days later, perhaps as a result of the stress of the occasion, that that important detail had slipped his mind.”

She added: “Mr Monk has always known what he did… and as soon as he became aware of the full consequences of his actions, he realised how damaging that admission was, and he has sought to row back from it by claiming he can no longer remember.”

The trial continues.