Dalian Atkinson: Call for longer sentence for killer police officer rejected
Campaigners calling for a longer sentence for Pc Benjamin Monk have been told the case will not be referred to the Court of Appeal.
Monk was convicted of ex-Aston Villa player Dalian Atkinson’s manslaughter following a trial which heard he Tasered him with an excessive 33-second deployment and then kicked him at least twice in the head during an incident five years ago.
Bishop Dr Desmond Jaddoo, of the Justice 4 All Coalition, set up an an online petition at change.org calling on the Ministry of Justice to extend Monk’s eight-year prison sentence, of which he must serve at least two-thirds.
But the Attorney General’s Office has confirmed that the sentence given to the former West Mercia officer will not be referred to the appeal court because the application failed to meet the legal threshold.
Dr Jadoo said: “While disappointed at the outcome of our application, it was clear that a stand had to be made due to the aggravating factors and the use of force that Dalian Atkinson was subjected to.
“A clear message had to be sent that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated by the community, particularly with the aggravating factor of discrimination which Pc Monk used as a stereotypical defence.
“The main point is that we tried and should anyone have a concern of this nature in the future, it is always important to try to make that point. On this occasion, although unsuccessful in our application, our voices were heard and at least it was looked out and taken seriously.”
Despite being taller and heavier than Mr Atkinson, Monk 43, claimed to have acted in reasonable self-defence while “terrified” of the retired player, who had a heart condition and was undergoing dialysis treatment.
In a statement the Attorney General’s Office said: “The Solicitor General was shocked and saddened by this case and wishes to express her sympathies to the family of Dalian Atkinson.”
“After careful consideration the Solicitor General has concluded that she could not refer this case to the Court of Appeal.
“A referral under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme to the Court of Appeal can only be made if a sentence is not just lenient but unduly so, such that the sentencing judge made a gross error or imposed a sentence outside the range of sentences reasonably available in the circumstances of the offence. The threshold is a high one, and the test was not met in this case.”
Dr Jadoo organised a street protest following the incident and successfully campaigned for the introduction of police body cameras, which the force has since introduced.
He said he believed that a sentence of between 10 to 15 years would have been more appropriate.
Mr Atkinson was pronounced dead in hospital shortly after the incident outside his childhood home, in Meadow Close, Trench, on August 15, 2016.