Police officer prepares to be sentenced over death of former Sheffield Wednesday striker Dalian Atkinson

A police officer is preparing to learn his fate this afternoon when he is to be sentenced over the death of a former Sheffield Wednesday player.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 1:34 pm

PC Benjamin Monk was found guilty of the manslaughter of former Owl Dalian Atkinson last week after a trial.

He returned to court in Birmingham yesterday to be sentenced but was remanded in custody overnight after Recorder of Birmingham, Judge Melbourne Inman QC, said he wanted more time to consider the evidence before passing sentence.

After the guilty verdict was delivered last week, the judge warned PC Monk that jail was inevitable.

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PC Benjamin Monk is to be sentenced today for the manslaughter of former Sheffield Wednesday striker Dalian Atkinson
PC Benjamin Monk is to be sentenced today for the manslaughter of former Sheffield Wednesday striker Dalian Atkinson

Today the police officer is expected to find out the length of time he must serve behind bars.

The 43-year-old tasered 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.

He then suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest.

Jurors were told the standard taser deployment lasts five seconds and that Monk used unlawful and unreasonable force out of anger.

The police officer’s legal team said the taser was delivered for longer than normal by mistake, and ‘in complete confusion and panic’.

Monk, who has 14 years’ policing service, is the first officer to be convicted of manslaughter during the course of his duties in over three decades.

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

When the cautions came to light, a police misconduct panel found Monk had breached the required standards for honesty and integrity by not disclosing the offences, but allowed him to keep his job.

Monk’s barrister, Patrick Gibbs QC, said the officer ‘had no intention to kill or injure’ Atkinson and ‘thought about it every day’.

Atkinson’s family described the footballer as ‘ confident, charismatic member of the family who would light up a room’.

The sentencing hearing is due to begin at 2pm.