London (AFP) – Dalian Atkinson was kicked by a police officer moments after being Tasered and falling to the ground “like a ton of bricks”, a witness told a murder trial on Friday.
Atkinson, who played for Villa in the 1990s, went into cardiac arrest and died aged 48 on August 15, 2016 in Telford, 30 miles (50 kilometres) from Birmingham after being Tasered near his father’s home.
Police Constable Benjamin Monk has denied charges of murder and manslaughter regarding the death of Atkinson, while PC Ellen Bettley-Smith has pleaded not guilty to assault.
Julia Shilton, who witnessed the alleged killing from the window of her home, told Birmingham Crown Court she heard what sounded like an argument and a police officer shouting to a man to get on the ground.
But after Atkinson failed to comply, Shilton said she had heard what sounded like a Taser being used.
“I heard a crackling sound… but Mr Atkinson was still stood there,” she said. “I was almost sure I heard this crackling noise but when nothing happened, I thought I hadn’t heard right.
“Then I heard a crackling noise and the officer had obviously brought the Taser up again and fired again.
“At that point Mr Atkinson fell down to the ground. In layman’s terms, like a ton of bricks. He just went down.”
Shilton said a parked car meant she could only see the lower half of Atkinson after he fell into the road.
“There was no movement (from him) whatsoever,” she told the court. “The male officer approached Mr Atkinson and just looked at him and then he just started kicking him.”
During cross-examination, Shilton said there were “maybe five or six” kicks, but added: “I really don’t know, I wasn’t counting the kicks. I couldn’t believe what I had seen to be honest.”
Meanwhile Victor Swinbourne, another witness, told the court: “As soon as he (Atkinson) went down they (the police officers) both went in.
“I think the male may have been slightly first.
“I saw the male (officer) kick him a couple of times. He lifted his leg up and as he kicked him, he kicked him in his torso area.
“I remember that he kicked him in the chest and I remember it sort coming off his chest… and moving his head back.”
The trial continues.