10:40 GMT06 May 2021
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    Dalian Atkinson played 200 games in the English Premier League and won the League Cup with Aston Villa. But after spells in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and South Korea the striker retired from football in 2001.

    A police officer kicked a former Premier League star in the head after tasering him for a total of 33 seconds, a jury has been told on the first day of his murder trial.

    PC Benjamin Monk denies murdering Dalian Atkinson, who played for Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town during a glittering career in the 1990s.

    Atkinson, who was black, died in the early hours of 15 August 2016 after police were called to an incident at his father’s home in Telford, near Birmingham.

    Prosecutor Alexandra Healy told Birmingham Crown Court that Atkinson, 48, was behaving in a “disturbed and erratic” manner as he demanded access to his father’s home and was claiming to be the “Messiah”.

    Britain Football Soccer - Aston Villa v Manchester United - Coca Cola Cup Final - 27/3/94 Aston Villa's Dalian Atkinson and Dean Saunders celebrate with the trophy
    © REUTERS / Action Images
    Britain Football Soccer - Aston Villa v Manchester United - Coca Cola Cup Final - 27/3/94 Aston Villa's Dalian Atkinson and Dean Saunders celebrate with the trophy.

    She said PC Monk and another officer, Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, tried to get Atkinson under control.

    PC Monk used his Taser on Atkinson for 33 seconds - six times longer than is recommended - and then kicked the former footballer twice in the head as he lay on the ground.

    Ms Healy denied PC Monk was acting in self-defence and said: "He was no doubt angry that he had been put in fear by this man. He chose to take that anger out on Dalian Atkinson by kicking him in the head."

    She said the imprint of PC Monk’s shoelaces were found on Mr Atkinson's forehead.

    PC Monk denies murder and manslaughter while  Ms Bettley-Smith denies assault.

    The trial is expected to last several weeks.

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