Killer cop JAILED over death of former Sheffield Wednesday player

A police officer has been jailed over the death of a former Sheffield Wednesday player.

By Claire Lewis
Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 9:28 am

PC Benjamin Monk, aged 43, was found guilty of the manslaughter of former Owl Dalian Atkinson last week after a trial and was sentenced yesterday to eight years behind bars.

The police officer of 14 years, who worked for West Mercia Police, tasered Mr Atkinson after being deployed to a disturbance involving the former footballer in 2016.

Mr Atkinson, who played for the Owls in the 1989/90 season, was tasered for 33 seconds and kicked in his head while he was on the ground, jurors heard.

PC Benjamin Monk has been jailed for eight years over the death of former Sheffield Wednesday player Dalian Atkinson

He then suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest.

The judge who jailed Monk accepted the disgraced police officer had shown genuine remorse and ordered him to serve two-thirds of his sentence behind bars before being entitled to release on licence.

Recorder of Birmingham, Melbourne Inman QC, said: “You have let yourself and the force down.

“Although they were difficult, you failed to act appropriately in the circumstances as they developed and you used a degree of force in delivering two kicks to the head, which was excessive and which were a cause of Mr Atkinson’s death.

“The obvious aggravating factor is that you committed this offence while on duty as a police officer.”

The judge added: “The police play a central and important role in upholding the rule of law in our society. The sentence must reflect the importance of maintaining public confidence in our police.”

Commenting after the jailing of PC Monk, the head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Crime Division, Rosemary Ainslie, said: “Monk forcefully kicked Mr Atkinson at least twice to the head. The force used was unreasonable because it was not necessary to restrain and control Mr Atkinson who was prone on the ground.

“The jury rejected any claim that Mr Atkinson’s death resulted from reasonable self-defence in the line of duty.

“Policing is a difficult job and officers deserve our respect, but they are not exempt from the laws they uphold.”

In a statement after the jail term was imposed Mr Atkinson’s family said: “PC Monk used horrendous violence against Dalian, who was in an extremely vulnerable position in mental health crisis and needed help.

“This was a callous attack and a terrible abuse of a police officer’s position of trust.

“He then failed to give a full and honest account of what happened, including at his trial. We are pleased that all these factors have been reflected in the sentence.

“We were shocked to learn that PC Monk was not sacked in February 2011 for gross misconduct for his dishonesty; he should never have been working for the police in August 2016 and Dalian should not have died.

“We pay tribute to all the bereaved families of black men who have died at the hands of the police and whose fight for justice has not led to successful prosecutions.”

It has emerged that when Monk applied to join the police service, he failed to disclose cautions received for two offences – a theft in 1997 and drunken behaviour in 1999.