Cops 'battered ex-Aston Villa ace Dalian Atkinson even when he appeared dead on the floor', jurors told

COPS continued to batter former Aston Villa star Dalian Atkinson even after he appeared to be "dead" on the floor, neighbours told a court today.

PC Benjamin Monk, 42, is on trial accused of murder and manslaughter while PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, denies assaulting the former Premier League ace.

A court heard Monk shot the 48-year-old with a taser for 33 seconds – six times longer than the standard five seconds – before kicking his head "like a football."

Bettley-Smith then battered him repeatedly with her extendable baton after the pair "took out their anger" on the retired footballer, jurors were told.

Both officers, who were in a relationship, claim they used reasonable force to detain Atkinson outside his father's home in Telford, Shrops., on August 15, 2016.

Atkinson had turned up at the property demanding to be let in before ranting about "being the messiah".

Monk and Bettley-Smith said they were "terrified" by Atkinson's actions and that they acted "necessary in the circumstances" after Monk ran out of taser cartridges.

On the third day of their trial, a neighbour of Atkinson's 85-year-old dad Ernest told how they saw Atkinson walking "like a mummy" before he was tasered.

She described how she saw the male officer "stomping" on Atkinson's head like "boom, boom, boom" even though he appeared to be "dead" on the ground.

Jean Jeffrey-Shaw, who had lived next door to Ernest for around 50 years, said the male officer appeared calm while he delivered the kicks while the woman "panicked".

Giving evidence, she told how she looked out her window when she heard the commotion that night when Atkinson arrived at the house in the early hours.

She said: "I could see two police officers, a man and a woman, coming up the drive.

"They were walking with such force like they were on a mission and they were walking with purpose and I heard a knock.

"They knocked and somebody came out and somebody said: "who called you?"

"It was something to that effect and the police said something to him but I didn't hear it because they were speaking in a low voice but he was shouting.

"And then he said, "What are you going to do about it?"

"I heard a big almighty crash and everything was splintering, it was a big crash and it didn't sound normal to me.

"I saw him look down at his chest and his chest was bright red. Then around the edges was a different colour it was like a Christmas tree.

She added: "They pointed this thing at him and he kept coming and they stood their ground and then he just fell down.

"After he fell down the police officer the male officer stood near his head and the female officer near his legs and body.

"I was looking and then when he fell down one of the officers was saying "keep your head down, I'm not telling you again keep your head down".

"And then he was stomping on his head. The man at the head was doing the stamping.

The man was stomping on somebody he was telling to keep his head down.

"I was thinking 'why is he telling him to keep his head down, why is he doing that?' "He's not moving, he's dead, he's not moving why is he telling him to keep his head down?

"I didn't see the body move at all. That's why I was thinking he was dead he wasn't moving.

"I couldn't cope and one time he was knocking his head so hard I had to look away I couldn't stand it.

"It was more than once it was several times.

"He went boom, boom, boom and I had to look away because he was so fast and I turned back again.

"The lady, after he was stamping, at the time she was panicking.

"The other officer was calm as anything like it never bothered him – he was calm.

"She didn't know what to do with herself and she had got his two arms together to put handcuffs on him.

"She was down the bottom of his body and then hitting him with the baton and then she went and got the handcuffs to put on his hands and hit him on the legs.

"I didn't see how many times but it was more than once. But not as many times as the head.

"She tried to handcuff him but his hands were too limp so it just fell down so they just left it and carried on hitting him.

"There was no movement from the man that's why I said he was dead they were talking to a dead man and telling him to keep his head down.

"The police then all surrounded the body and police cars arrived from all over and filled the street.

"I was traumatised from what I saw, it was a nightmare.

"He was stamping his foot down.

"He was kicking his head and stamping on it and I had to look away as I couldn't keep up it was too much for me and I had to look away."

Describing Dalian, who she knew since he was a child, she added: "Dalian had gone away and was doing his football training and I would see him now and then.

"He was a lovely person and a practical joker.

"I was so traumatised. I wasn't going to tell a soul about it and I started breaking down and had to go to the doctors..

"I said to the doctor and the woman doctor said you have to tell somebody you can't keep this in and she put me on antidepressants.

"I just had it playing over in my head. I was in shock at what had happened."

The trial at Birmingham Crown Court continues.

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