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Prosecutors to seek retrial of Pc accused of assaulting Dalian Atkinson

A previous hearing was told a retrial is unlikely to take place until next year.

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West Mercia Police constable Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith (PA)

West Mercia Police constable Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith (PA)

West Mercia Police constable Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith (PA)

Prosecutors have decided to seek a retrial of a police officer accused of assaulting ex-Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town footballer Dalian Atkinson.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced the move a week after a jury at Birmingham Crown Court failed to reach a verdict on 31-year-old West Mercia Pc Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith.

Prosecutors allege Pc Bettley-Smith used unreasonable force in striking Mr Atkinson with a baton after he had been tasered by another officer near his childhood home in Meadow Close, Telford, Shropshire, in August 2016.

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A tribute to Dalian Atkinson at Villa Park after the ex-footballer’s death in 2016 (Nick Potts/PA)

A tribute to Dalian Atkinson at Villa Park after the ex-footballer’s death in 2016 (Nick Potts/PA)

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A tribute to Dalian Atkinson at Villa Park after the ex-footballer’s death in 2016 (Nick Potts/PA)

Mr Atkinson, 48, went into cardiorespiratory arrest and died around an hour later after being taken to hospital by ambulance.

Rosemary Ainslie, Head of Special Crime at the CPS, said it had informed the court that the Crown will seek a retrial of Pc Bettley-Smith on a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Ms Ainslie said: “We remind everyone that criminal proceedings are active and that Ms Bettley-Smith has a right to a fair trial.

“It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

A previous hearing was told a retrial of Pc Bettley-Smith is unlikely to take place until next year.

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