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Police officer who killed Dalian Atkinson had been found guilty of gross misconduct

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The police officer who killed former Premier League footballer Dalian Atkinson had previously been found guilty of gross misconduct after failing to mention two cautions on his job application.

PC Benjamin Monk kept his job with West Mercia Police in 2011 despite being found to have breached the required standards of honesty and integrity, Birmingham Crown Court was told.

Monk had been issued two cautions between 1997 and 1999 for theft from a shop during a summer holiday job and for being found drunk.

The judge, due to sentence him for manslaughter after the death of Mr Atkinson, who played for clubs including Aston Villa and Ipswich Town, has been told the cautions were not included on his application papers to join the force in 2001.

Monk was cleared of murder last week after a trial heard he tasered Mr Atkinson to the ground with a 33-second deployment of the weapon – six times longer than the usual cycle.

He then kicked the footballer twice in the head.

Monk, who denied both murder and manslaughter, said he could only remember aiming one kick at the 48-year-old’s shoulder.

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The attack took place outside the footballer’s childhood home in Meadow Close, Telford, Shropshire, in August 2016.

Alexandra Healy QC, prosecuting, told the court on Monday: “Mr Monk was cautioned for theft from a shop as an employee – he was employed at the time at Woolworths in 1997.

“There was a further caution in 1999 for being found drunk.”

Dalian Atkinson played for several clubs, including Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town. Pic: Action Images
Image: Dalian Atkinson played for several clubs, including Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town. Pic: Action Images

The court was told the warnings were not recorded on a computer system because of policies at the time for dealing with spent cautions.

Speaking before Monk was remanded in custody as sentencing was adjourned until Tuesday, Ms Healy added: “When he applied to join the police in 2001 he did not disclose the existence of those cautions.”

The judge has said he wants time to consider the evidence before passing sentence, after earlier hearing legal submissions and victim impact statements from Mr Atkinson’s family.