Pc charged with murder after Taser death of former Aston Villa player Dalian Atkinson
7 November 2019, 11:27 | Updated: 7 November 2019, 11:40
A police constable has been charged with the murder of former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson, who died after being Tasered near his father's home in Telford in 2016, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
Jenny Hopkins, from the CPS, said in a statement: "Following the death of Dalian Atkinson in Telford on 15 August 2016, the Crown Prosecution Service has today authorised a charge of murder against a West Mercia police constable.
"A second police constable, from the same force, has been charged with assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH). Mr Atkinson's family has been informed.
"This decision was made following a careful review of all the evidence presented to us by the Independent Office for Police Conduct following an investigation.
"Criminal proceedings against the two police officers are now active and they have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings." Pc charged with murder after Taser death of former Aston Villa player Dalian Atkinson
The officers will appear at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday afternoon after an appearance at the City's magistrates' court.
Three West Mercia Police officers were interviewed twice under criminal caution and served with gross misconduct notices following Mr Atkinson's death.
Mr Atkinson was struck by the Taser after reportedly threatening his father on the doorstep of the pensioner’s home in Telford in August 2016.
He went into cardiac arrest and died in hospital 90 minutes later.
At the time, West Mercia Police said officers were called amid concerns "for the safety of an individual".
The IOPC said its investigation gathered evidence which indicated that police contact with Mr Atkinson involved the use of a Taser, followed by a period of restraint and other uses of force.
In a statement issued by Mr Atkinson's siblings after his death, they said: "Dalian grew to be a kind, caring and protective brother, with a lively personality: he was funny and cheeky. He always brought life and energy to family gatherings - when Dalian turned up, we knew there would be laughter and banter."