Dalian Atkinson Taser death: Serving police officer charged with murder of ex-Aston Villa footballer.

A serving police officer has been charged with murder in connection with the death of former Aston Villa footballer, Dalian Atkinson, who died after being Tasered in a Telford street in August 2016 .

The Pc from the West Mercia force has been charged with one count of murder while another officer has been charged with assault causing actual bodily harm.

Mr Atkinson, 48, suffered a heart attack and after being Tasered after police were called to a minor disturbance.

His family later revealed that he had been suffering from kidney problems which may have weakened his heart, leaving him more susceptible to cardiac arrest.

Jenny Hopkins from the CPS said: “Following the death of Dalian Atkinson in Telford on Aug 15, 2016, the Crown Prosecution Service has today authorised a charge of murder against a West Mercia police constable.

"A second police constable, from the same force, has been charged with assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH). Mr Atkinson’s family has been informed.

"This decision was made following a careful review of all the evidence presented to us by the Independent Office for Police Conduct following an investigation."

A picture taken on the night Mr Atkinson was Tasered in Telford

A picture taken on the night Mr Atkinson was Tasered in Telford Paula Quinn/PA

Neither officer has been named as it is understood an application for anonymity will be made when they appear in court later today.

The officer charged with murder has also been charged with unlawful act manslaughter as an alternative offence which, the CPS said, "is a lesser offence that a jury may consider if it first finds that the more serious charge has not been proved".

Speaking on behalf of the family of Mr Atkinson, solicitor Kate Maynard, of Hickman and Rose, said: "Dalian's family welcomes the decision to put the conduct of police officers before a jury but regrets that already more than three years have passed since Dalian died.

"They ask for their privacy to be respected and press for the criminal proceedings to progress without delay or obstruction."

Born in Shrewsbury, Mr Atkinson was an exciting centre forward who made a name for himself at Aston Villa, scoring the opening goal in the side’s 1994 Coca Cola Cup win over Manchester United at Wembley.

He scored 36 goals in 114 appearances for Villa but injury meant his career stalled and in 1995 he moved the Turkish side Fenerbahce.

He also had spells in Saudi Arabia and South Korea before retiring in 1999 and returning to the Midlands where he set up a sports consultancy business.

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