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Cop who unlawfully killed Dalian Atkinson jailed for eight years

A POLICE officer who unlawfully killed Dalian Atkinson by tasering him to the ground and kicking him in the head was jailed for eight years today.

PC Benjamin Monk was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter after jurors heard that he left two bootlace imprints on the former Premier League star’s forehead following an “excessive” 33-second Taser deployment.

Monk was told that he was “not honest” after he claimed to have aimed a single kick at the victim’s shoulder.

Mr Atkinson, who had smashed a window while suffering a mental health crisis, died in hospital around an hour after an ambulance was called to the scene near his father’s home in Meadow Close, Telford, Shropshire, on August 15 2016.

According to the charity Inquest, Mr Monk is the first police officer in England and Wales to be found guilty of unlawful killing over a death in custody or following police contact since 1986.

Passing sentence on Mr Monk, 43, at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Melbourne Inman QC said: “You have let yourself and the force down.

“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.”

Mr Monk, who the judge accepted had shown genuine remorse, was ordered to serve two-thirds of his eight-year sentence before being entitled to release on licence.

A statement from 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.

“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 shouldn’t take the death of a famous footballer for the criminal justice system to work properly and we hope that more families can secure justice in future regardless of whether the deceased is a high-profile person.”

Inquest director Deborah Coles said: “This is the first manslaughter conviction of a police officer for over three decades. 

“Police cannot be above the law, but for too long they have acted with impunity following deaths.”

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