Pc who killed Dalian Atkinson was kept on by police despite gross misconduct

The police officer who killed former footballer Dalian Atkinson was previously allowed to keep his job despite being found to have committed gross misconduct, it has been revealed.

Pc Benjamin Monk was found guilty of the manslaughter of Dalian Atkinson
Pc Benjamin Monk was found guilty of the manslaughter of Dalian Atkinson

Pc Benjamin Monk failed to mention two cautions on his application to join West Mercia Police, Birmingham Crown Court was told on Monday.

The 43-year-old was last week cleared of murder but convicted of the manslaughter of ex-Aston Villa player Dalian Atkinson in Telford on August 15, 2016.

Monk fired a stun gun into 48-year-old Atkinson for 33 seconds, then kicked him twice in the head following a confrontation near the footballer's childhood home in Meadow Close, Trench.

A judge who is due to sentence Monk was told he had two cautions - for drunkenness and theft - before he joined the police force, which he failed to disclose when he applied to be an officer in 2001.

Prosecuting barrister Miss Alexandra Healy QC said Monk was cautioned for theft in 1997 while an employee at a Woolworths store.

Dalian Atkinson is best known for his time at Aston Villa. Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire.

She said he was cautioned in 1999 after he was found drunk. Neither was disclosed on his application or vetting forms and Monk became an officer with West Mercia Police.

She said only in 2010 when Monk went through another vetting process were the criminal cautions disclosed.

Monk faced a police disciplinary hearing and was charged with gross misconduct, which can lead to dismissal. He was found guilty of the disciplinary charge, failing in "honesty and integrity" but allowed to stay on as an officer.

The court heard that the force issued Monk with a final written warning in February 2011 as a result. Monk had no criminal convictions.

Forensic officers at the scene in Meadow Close, Telford. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The court was told the warnings were not recorded on a computer system because of policies at the time for dealing with spent cautions.

Monk was remanded in custody following Monday's hearing and will be sentenced on Tuesday afternoon, when he will be given a prison sentence.

Judge Melbourne Inman QC said: "There is a lot for me to think about."

"You know that it is a prison sentence. I remand you in custody."

The court was told the warnings were not recorded on a computer system because of policies at the time for dealing with spent cautions.

Monk, who has 14 years' service in uniform, was cleared of murder after jurors were told they could convict him of the charge only if they were sure he intended to cause really serious injury.

The jury was instructed to find Monk guilty of an alternative charge of manslaughter if they were not sure he intended to cause serious harm but the force used was an act any reasonable person would realise was bound to pose a risk of physical harm.

Fellow Pc Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, who was in a relationship with Monk at the time of Mr Atkinson's death, was accused of assault but the jury was discharged after failing to reach a verdict.

The 31-year-old, who joined the force in February 2015, could yet face a retrial

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