Fibres on Dalian Atkinson’s clothing ‘fused’ by Taser current, court told

Tracksuit bottoms worn by Dalian Atkinson had areas of damage which may have been caused by a Taser probe, including one where fibres had been fused together by heat, a murder trial jury has heard.

Forensic scientist Penelope Griffiths also told Birmingham Crown Court that holes found in the ex-Aston Villa star’s T-shirt appeared to correspond with marks found on his chest after the 48-year-old’s death.

The Crown alleges PCs Benjamin Monk, 42, and 31-year-old Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith unlawfully attacked Atkinson near his father’s home in Telford, Shropshire, on August 15 2016.

Dalian Atkinson death
Police Constables Benjamin Monk and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith outside Birmingham Crown Court (Jacob King/PA)

Monk denies murder and manslaughter, while his West Mercia force colleague Bettley-Smith denies assault.

Giving evidence on Friday, Mrs Griffiths took the jury through photographs showing magnified images of tracksuit bottoms worn by Atkinson, who also starred for Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday between 1985 and 1990.

Describing her findings about two specific areas of damage to the trousers, Mrs Griffiths told jurors: “The lower of these two areas was a hole that went from the outside to the inside and was about two millimetres in diameter.”

The hole had cuts indicating that a sharp implement had penetrated the inside, and had been pulled back out again, the witness said.

Mrs Griffiths told the court: “In my opinion that hole could have been caused by a Taser.”

A small vertical cut was also found on the tracksuit bottoms, Mrs Griffiths said, adding: “The fibre ends at the edges of the cuts were fused, which indicated they had been subjected to heat, which you can get with electrical current.

“This was potentially caused by a Taser probe.”

Under cross-examination by Monk’s counsel, Patrick Gibbs QC, Mrs Griffiths said it was possible both holes had been caused by the same object after it struck the leg, was pulled out, and then fell.

The trial continues on Monday.