PC who hit ex-footballer Dalian Atkinson guilty of gross misconduct

PC who hit ex-footballer Dalian Atkinson guilty of gross misconduct


A PC who repeatedly struck ex-footballer Dalian Atkinson on the night he was killed by her colleague has been found guilty of gross misconduct.

Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith hit the former Aston Villa striker six times with her baton as he lay on the ground in 2016.

She was acquitted of actual bodily harm at trial but the police watchdog called for a gross misconduct hearing.

After a four-day case, the panel decided the West Mercia Police officer used excessive force.

Mr Atkinson died after being tasered and kicked in the head outside his father’s house in Telford, Shropshire.

PC Bettley-Smith’s colleague and partner, PC Benjamin Monk, was jailed for manslaughter in 2021.

The panel previously heard how the officers had responded to a 999 call and arrived to find Mr Atkinson appearing “in the grip of a psychotic episode”.

PC Bettley-Smith initially struck Mr Atkinson three times, which the panel agreed were lawful.

But it found a further three strikes were “unnecessary, disproportionate and unreasonable in all the circumstances and therefore unlawful”.

The panel is now set to hear evidence on whether the 33-year-old, who was a probationary officer at the time, should be allowed to keep her job or face a lesser sanction later on Friday.

Mr Atkinson died after being Tasered and kicked at least twice in the head by Monk, who was a more experienced officer.

The panel was told PC Bettley-Smith used her baton on him, claiming she “perceived” he was trying to get up.

However, several civilian witnesses recalled the 48-year-old “was not moving” and “was not resistant”.

The independent tribunal decided she had acted wrongly when she struck him again after police back-up arrived.

Earlier in the week the panel…


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