Former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson dies after being Tasered by police


A former Aston Villa striker has died after he was Tasered by police.

The 48-year-old, named locally as Dalian Atkinson, died around 90 minutes after he was hit by a stun gun in Meadow Close in the Trench area of Telford, Shropshire, at around 1.30am on Monday.

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "I had known him since he was a little boy, he was a famous footballer at one time. He was friendly, he had no trouble that I know of."

West Mercia Police said officers were called amid concerns "for the safety of an individual" and deployed Taser.

Dalian Atkinson.

This follows the death in June of ex-soldier Spencer Beynon, who was Tasered by police in Llanelli, South Wales, after stabbing a dog and then himself.

Forensic officers were at the scene on Monday as Meadow Close remained cordoned off.

Neighbours took to Facebook to express their shock, with one describing "a lot of shouting and police".

West Mercia Police said in a statement: "Officers responded to a report for the concern for the safety of an individual at approximately 1.30am this morning at an address in Telford.

A policeman stands outside Meadow Close in the Trench area of Telford, after Atkinson died.

"Upon arrival, Taser was deployed and a 48-year-old man, who subsequently received medical attention, was pronounced dead at approximately 3am.

"West Mercia Police are unable to comment any further as the incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as is normal procedure, and will assist the IPCC with their inquiries."

Last year police use of Tasers, which are intended as a non-lethal weapon, went up slightly towards the end of 2015 with 10,329 uses by forces in England and Wales, a 2% rise on the previous year.

However, of those, 19% (1,921) were discharges; a decrease of 3% from the previous year.

Dalian Atkinson.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We were called by West Mercia Police to an address in Meadow Close in the Trench area of Telford at about 1.45am this morning.

"An ambulance was dispatched and upon arrival found a man who had been Tasered.

"As he was being conveyed to Princess Royal Hospital, his condition deteriorated and he went into cardiac arrest.

"Despite the efforts of the crew and hospital staff, it was not possible to save him and he was confirmed dead at hospital, shortly after arrival."