Contact bloodstain found on officer’s boot, Dalian Atkinson murder trial told

Bloodstaining found on the boot of a police officer accused of Dalian Atkinson’s murder was consistent with being caused by “forceful” contact, a forensic scientist has told a jury.

The trial of Pc Benjamin Monk, now in its third week, was told blood matching the ex-Aston Villa star was found on the laces and tongue of the officer’s right boot and the instep area of his left boot.

Monk, 42, is alleged to have intended to cause really serious injury to Atkinson, who also played for Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town, after initial uses of a Taser proved ineffective.

Prosecutors claim West Mercia Police officer Monk, who denies murder and manslaughter, used unlawful force on Atkinson before he was handcuffed near his father’s home in Meadow Close, Telford, Shropshire.

Dalian Atkinson death
Forensic officers at the scene in Meadow Close in 2016 (Joe Giddens/PA)

Atkinson, aged 48, died in hospital in the early hours of August 15 2016.

On the tenth day of evidence at Birmingham Crown Court, forensic scientist Penelope Griffiths showed jurors staining to Monk’s boots, which were exhibited in the courtroom in a clear plastic bag.

Prosecution QC Alexandra Healy asked Ms Griffiths to show the jury where she had found contact bloodstaining on Monk’s footwear.

The witness told the jury: “If you look at the diamond shape where the laces cross, that is where the bloodstain is… and underneath the laces on the tongue itself.”

Spots and splashes of blood were also found on Monk’s boots, Ms Griffiths said, adding: “If you have forceful contact with a surface… blood would be forced away from the site of that impact in the form of small airborne droplets.

“If you have contact staining and spots and splashes radiating away, that indicates that the boot has had a forceful contact with a surface.”

Dalian Atkinson death
Dalian Atkinson (Karen Wright/PA)

Earlier in the trial, Monk’s QC, Patrick Gibbs, said it was not in dispute that Mr Monk must have kicked Atkinson twice in the head, as it was “the only explanation” for marks found on his forehead.

Another forensic scientist, Jennifer Donoghue, was also asked to examine Monk’s footwear and that of three other officers in 2016 and early 2017.

She told the trial that acetate overlays of the lacing pattern on Monk’s boots matched two marks on Atkinson’s forehead shown on photographs of his injuries.

Although she could not say which boot caused either mark, she told the jury: “I found two marks that corresponded with the boots. Both impressions corresponded with both the left and the right.”

Although Mr Atkinson had another “mottled” area of injury on his right shoulder, it was not possible to say whether it had been caused by a boot, Mrs Donoghue said.

She continued: “However, that does not preclude the possibility that the mark could have been made by an item of footwear.”

Pc Monk’s colleague and then partner, Pc Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, is also facing trial.

Bettley-Smith, who is alleged to have used a police baton unlawfully after Mr Atkinson was tasered, denies a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.