A policeman accused of the murder of former footballer Dalian Atkinson told him to ‘keep his head down’ as he repeatedly punched his head as he lay on the ground after being shot with a Taser stun gun, said a key witness at trial.
Jean Jeffrey-Shaw told at the Birmingham Crown Court trial that she must have looked away in horror. She said she asked her husband why the officer told Atkinson to keep his head down when he looked dead.
Jeffrey-Shaw, who lived near Atkinson’s father in Telford, West Midlands, testified on the third day of the trial of PC Benjamin Monk, 42, who denies the murder and manslaughter on August 15, 2016 .
Monk and his PC colleague Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith were sent to Atkinson’s father’s home in Meadow Close, Telford, after neighbors became concerned after hearing screams.
Bettley-Smith, 31, repeatedly hit Atkinson, 48, with a baton during the six-minute incident, which began just after 1:30 a.m. She denies the assault.
Jeffrey-Shaw, who said she had known Atkinson since he was young but hadn’t recognized him at night, recounted how she looked from home to see a man swinging and staring at a “red circle. On his chest – supposedly from a stun gun aimed at him.
She described the man falling into “a funny position”, with one shoulder higher than the other, and said a police officer took a position near his head. “I was looking and then when he fell, one of the officers said, ‘Keep your head down, I’m not telling you anymore’, and he was banging on his head… saw the officer raising his knee.
When questioned by Alexandra Healy QC, for the prosecution, she could not say how many times the man had been stepped on because she had to look away, but believed it was several times. “I told my husband why was he telling him to keep his death? He is dead. He’s not moving, why is he telling him to keep his head down?
She added that a female officer appeared to be panicking and started hitting the person with her baton.
The trial learned earlier that Atkinson’s father, Ernest, who has since died, told police his son was not on his mind that night. The father had said that his son had grabbed him by the throat after having “knocked” on the door of his house in the early hours of the morning.
Reading a summary of a statement made by the 85-year-old a week after the events, junior prosecutor Paul Jarvis said: “Dalian told Ernest Atkinson he loved him and asked why his father and the rest of the family were trying. to kill him. Ernest Atkinson recalled that his son had said: “I am alive, I am the messiah and I have come to kill you”.
Jarvis said, “With that, Dalian grabbed Ernest by the throat and pushed him down onto a chair. He told him not to move otherwise he would kill Paul and Kenroy, the Dalian brothers. Dalian asked his father how much they paid him.
The police arrived and Ernest could see and hear his son standing with his hands raised, saying: “you are going to Taser me, I am the messiah, you cannot hurt me”.
Ernest Atkinson, who speculated that officers would be able to calm his son, was later told by police that “Dalian was fine and he was in an ambulance on his way to the hospital.”
The hearing continues.