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Atkinson, pictured, who played for Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town, was Tasered for 33 seconds and had two bootlace prints on his forehead when he was taken to hospital. He died of cardio-respiratory arrest after the incident in Meadow Close, Telford, on August 15, 2016
A witness has told how retired football star Dalian Atkinson was beaten with a baton by a female PC as he lay on the ground after he was zapped for the third time with a Taser by her killer cop partner and he yelled ‘10,000 volts is nothing to me.’
PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 32, is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm after allegedly battering Mr Atkinson with her baton after he was Tasered by her colleague PC Benjamin Monk.
Mr Atkinson died of cardio-respiratory arrest in hospital on August 15, 2016 after the incident at his father’s house in Meadow Close, Telford.
Bettley-Smith this week went on trial at Birmingham Crown Court after her case was re-opened.
But the 32-year-old denies assault and claims she acted lawfully in defence of others when she hit Mr Atkinson.
However, Birmingham Crown Court today heard claims that Bettley-Smith lashed out at Mr Atkinson when he posed no threat.
PC Monk was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for eight years last year for Tasering Mr Atkinson for 33 seconds and kicking him in the head.
PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 32, pictured, is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm after allegedly battering Atkinson with her baton and this week went on trial at Birmingham Crown Court after her case was re-opened
Benjamin Monk, Bettley-Smith’s colleague, pictured, was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for eight years last year for Tasering Mr Atkinson for 33 seconds and then twice kicking him in the head before his death
Mr Atkinson is believed to have been in a disturbed mental state at the time of the incident, probably due to a build-up of toxins caused by kidney failure.
He was ‘significantly unwell’ also suffering with high blood pressure and heart disease all meaning that he was ‘losing touch with reality’, the court heard.
Prosecutors described his ‘suddenly and dramatically’ deteriorating mental state and added the Professional Footballers Association had stepped in to help.
Meadow Close resident Victor Swinburne today gave evidence from the witness box on the third day of the retrial.
He said that he looked out of his window after hearing ‘authoritative’ voices instructing someone to sit down and stay where they were.
Mr Swinburne told the court: ‘I heard a crackling noise and assumed that it did sound like a Taser.
‘The gentleman said ‘10,000 volts is nothing to me’ or something to that effect, swept his arm across his chest – I would think to remove the electrodes.’
Birmingham Crown Court today heard claims that Bettley-Smith, pictured, lashed out at Atkinson when he posed no threat
Mr Swinburne said that he heard glass smashing twice and saw officers ‘reversing’ away from Mr Atkinson, who was making comments claiming to be ‘the messiah.’
He added that he could see the police were scared and said Mr Atkinson appeared ‘arrogant, not necessarily aggressive’.
Mr Swinburne said that Mr Atkinson was ‘Tasered again and he went down… as if somebody has passed out.
‘He sort of literally went down on his right shoulder. He went rigid but I think there was probably minor movements as if you have had an electric shock.’
The witness added that the two officers were shouting for Atkinson to put his hands behind his back.
Mr Swinburne said: ‘As soon as he went down, the male officer went in first and gave him some kicks to the torso, and then the female officer afterwards went in. And she shielded my view of the gentleman.
‘However I could see she struck the baton two or three times.
‘I never saw him move once he had fallen.’
Meadow Close resident Victor Swinburne today gave evidence from the witness box on the third day of the retrial. He said that he looked out of his window after hearing ‘authoritative’ voices instructing someone to sit down and stay where they were. Pictured: Bettley-Smith yesterday arriving at court
When asked to explain where the female officer was standing in relation to the male PC, Mr Swinburne added: ‘Just behind him. He was on the left, she was on the right.
‘She had a truncheon in her right hand. She struck him two, possibly three times. I wouldn’t know whereabouts because my view was restricted- I was looking at her back and then somebody in front of her on the ground.’
Prosecuting, Paul Jarvis asked: ‘Was the man on the ground doing anything to try and ward off those strikes?’
Mr Swinburne said: ‘Not that I could see with my limited visibility.’
The witness said that following the kicks and baton strikes, he heard four loud distinctive ‘bronchial’ noises and the scene became a casualty situation, with Mr Atkinson being put into a recovery position.
Defending, Richard Smith KC cross examined Mr Swinburne and asked if Mr Atkinson was still moving after he went to the ground.
The witness added: ‘He could have, potentially. However I didn’t see it.’
Mr Swinburne told the court: ‘I heard a crackling noise and assumed that it did sound like a Taser. ‘The gentleman said ‘10,000 volts is nothing to me’ or something to that effect, swept his arm across his chest – I would think to remove the electrodes.’ Pictured: Bettley-Smith arrives at court yesterday
It came after Atkinson’s partner Karen Wright yesterday gave evidence in the trial.
She had been due to drive him to a medical clinic in Cheshire for an afternoon appointment before he was killed.
Ms Wright said that her late partner, who she knew as ‘Dee’ for their 27 years together, told the court that Atkinson had left a friend’s house in the early hours to travel to his father’s home in Shropshire.
She had spoken to Mr Atkinson on the phone before he arrived at his father’s house, where he was Tasered three times before being taken to hospital.
Describing her partner, who was being treated for kidney failure and heart problems, as ‘always a gentle, loving, lovely man,’ Ms Wright said: ‘He was very conscious of his health. He was jogging again in February 2016 so he was getting fit.
‘Dee had a hospital appointment on that Monday. He was elated. He was very happy about that.’
Ms Wright said that on the evening of August 14, Mr Atkinson had mentioned ‘the messiah’ and pulled out a dialysis line which had left him in constant pain.
Concerned, she and her friend had tried to stop Mr Atkinson leaving the house but he took the keys to her car and drove away around 1am.
Speaking to his partner at around 1.30am on the phone, he told Ms Wright that he was at his father’s house and she heard voices that she did not recognise in the background.
Ms Wright said that her late partner, pictured in 1991, who she knew as ‘Dee’ for their 27 years together, told the court that Atkinson had left a friend’s house in the early hours to travel to his father’s home in Shropshire. She and her friend had pleaded with him not to go due as he had pulled out a dialysis line and mentioned ‘the messiah’
She said she later got a call from Dalian during the fatal confrontation where she heard him saying ‘do you know who you’re speaking to’ before the phone went dead.
Ms Wright added: ‘I could hear there were some people there, some voices I didn’t recognise. I could hear Dalian at the door speaking to people asking them.
‘Dalian said the whole family was plotting to kill him. Dalian started to shout down the telephone that he was the Messiah.
‘I could hear “You’re gonna taser me, I’m the messiah, I’m the messiah, you cannot hurt me”.
‘It wasn’t until about 20 minutes later that his brother Paul came and asked is Dalian here. You need to come with me as he’s been arrested.’
The court also heard how Dalian had confronted his father on the night he last saw him and told him he was ‘the messiah and I’ve come to kill you’.
The ex-footballer had described himself as a ‘born-again Christian’, before grabbing his father, Ernest, by the throat and telling him not to move.
The court also heard how Dalian, pictured right, in 1994 had confronted his father on the night he last saw him and told him he was ‘the messiah and I’ve come to kill you’
A statement from Mr Atkinson’s brother Paul was also read to the jury yesterday.
The 48-year-old’s sibling said: ‘The last time I saw Dalian was Sunday August 14 2016 around 11pm, when I gave him a lift home from my house. He was in a good mood because he was finally going to receive private medical treatment.’
Paul Atkinson also stated that his brother later briefly visited his home some time after midnight.
‘I heard a knock at the door and someone calling my name,’ he stated. ‘I heard Dalian saying: “You are plotting against the wrong person, I am the messiah.” I then heard the front gate close.’
Prosecutors allege Bettley-Smith, pictured with Monk in 2019, ‘lashed out’ several times with a baton at Mr Atkinson, causing him actual bodily harm
Mr Atkinson prophesied his own death and believed the NHS or police would kill him, the court heard yesterday.
Prosecutors allege Bettley-Smith ‘lashed out’ several times with a baton at Mr Atkinson, causing him actual bodily harm.
Earlier this week jurors heard she acted unlawfully when she struck Atkinson with her baton ‘with as much force as she could muster’ while he lay on the ground after being Tasered.
She may have acted ‘out of anger’ or because she had been told by her partner Monk: ‘F**king hit him, f**king hit him’, jurors were told.
But Bettley-Smith, of West Mercia Police, claims she used reasonable force at the time and acted in self defence because she believed her life was in danger.
She is on trial for a second time after a jury previously failed to reach a verdict.
The trial continues.