Paramedic recalls final moments of Dalian Atkinson’s life after Taser incident

·2 min read

A paramedic has told a jury how he had to manually administer oxygen to former football star Dalian Atkinson moments before he went into cardiac arrest.

Pc Benjamin Monk, 42, denies the murder and manslaughter of Mr Atkinson following an incident in Meadow Close, Telford, Shropshire, in August 2016.

Responding paramedic James Roberts, who has since retired from West Midlands Ambulance Service, said he saw Taser barbs resting on the ex-Aston Villa striker’s shirt as he was lying in the road – and as he attempted to remove the top, saw one barb resting on his skin.

Dalian Atkinson death
Benjamin Monk arrives at Birmingham Crown Court (Jacob King/PA)

Jurors have heard that Monk is alleged to have fired the Taser at Atkinson three times – with the final deployment lasting 33 seconds.

Mr Roberts said police had warned him Mr Atkinson had tried to attack officers and may have taken drugs.

The witness told jurors his first assessment of the patient was “verbally unresponsive” and described his eye movement as “sluggish”.

Birmingham Crown Court heard that in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, Mr Roberts asked a police officer to remove one of the former footballer’s handcuffs as his breathing became “more laboured”.

He said: “We asked the police officer to remove one of the handcuffs so we could roll him on his back… so he could be more comfortable.”

Mr Roberts said the ex-Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town player had his second handcuff removed on the resuscitation trolley.

The court heard Mr Atkinson’s breathing progressively deteriorated before he was taken into the resuscitation room.

Shortly after being taken into the room, Mr Roberts recalled the patient “wasn’t breathing for himself any longer”, before he eventually went into cardiac arrest.

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

She denies a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

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