PC hits against Dalian Atkinson ‘outrageous’


PC Bettley-Smith’s lawyer said of the events: “There’s a big difference between reading about it and being there.”

The second series of beatings by a PC on former footballer Dalian Atkinson the night he was killed by his colleague was “totally unjustified” and “outrageous”, a disciplinary panel has heard.

Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith beat Mr. Atkinson multiple times with her cane as he lay on the ground in 2016.

A new criminal trial last year cleared her of actual bodily harm.

In a separate police hearing, she denies that the excessive use of force constitutes serious misconduct.

Mr Atkinson died after PC Bettley-Smith’s West Mercia police colleague and romantic partner PC Benjamin Monk jailed him for Atkinson’s manslaughter in 2021.

The panel, sitting in Telford on Thursday, listened as the PCs responded to a 999 call and arrived to find Mr Atkinson outside his father’s home in Telford, apparently “in the midst of a psychotic episode”.

The hearing was told how PC Bettley-Smith, 33, had initially struck Mr Atkinson three times with his cane.

With Mr Atkinson punched and kicked by Monk, he struck the former Aston Villa, Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday striker a further three times, telling the panel he was “looking over his right shoulder” for reinforcements to arrive.

Describing the case against him, Dijen Basu KC said: “The second set (of blows) was totally unnecessary, totally unreasonable, totally unjustified, and above all, to use normal language, it was outrageous to do that in the circumstances.”

“The man had just been kicked in the head, having received an electric shock, and fell to the ground, and with other officers arriving.”

image source, West Mercia Police


PC Benjamin Monk found guilty of the manslaughter of Dalian Atkinson but acquitted of his murder

PC Betley-Smith told the panel during her statement on Wednesday: “I just remember what I perceived as a really aggressive, hostile and grumpy (person) and I thought we had further antagonized him by tasing him.”

“I sensed that he was trying to push himself up and proceeded to punch Mr. Atkinson in the fleshy areas of his body to try to get him down and control.”

But the hearing was heard previously at least three different residents, watching from their windows, describe how Mr. Atkinson didn’t move once he was tasered.

A summary of a joint medical report recorded that Mr. Atkinson likely struck his head on the road when hit by a 33-second burst of taser duration, and this “probably caused a concussion, exacerbated by any kick or kicks to the head” which possibly would have “deepened any loss of consciousness”.

The report concluded that it was “possible…he was too exhausted to move once the Taser was turned off.”


Dalian Atkinson died after being tasered by fellow PC Bettley-Smith Benjamin Monk.

In his closing arguments, Patrick Gibbs, a lawyer for Bettley-Smith, said: “To state the very obvious, this is a short incident, it takes place in the dark, it was unexpected, violent.

“Although we examine you in calm and peaceful circumstances, unless you’ve ever been threatened with violence and had to confront it, it can be difficult to fully appreciate what it’s like.

“There’s a big difference between reading about it and being there.”

The panel is set to deliver its conclusion on Friday, and PC Bettley-Smith faces dismissal if the hearing fails against him.

Mr Atkinson began his football career at Ipswich Town, before moving to Sheffield Wednesday, Real Sociedad, Aston Villa and Fenerbahçe in the 1990s.


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