The Daily Telegraph

Officer struck footballer on the ground, jury told

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A female police officer struck retired footballer Dalian Atkinson up to three times with a baton after he had fallen to the ground, a witness has told a jury.

The retrial of Mary Ellen Bettleysmi­th, a West Mercia Police constable, heard claims that she lashed out at the former Aston Villa player – who later died – when he posed no threat.

Ms Bettley-smith, 32, denies assault, claiming she acted lawfully in defence of others during the incident in Telford, Shropshire, in August 2016.

Eyewitness Victor Swinburne told the court: “She [Ms Bettley-smith] had a truncheon in her right hand. She struck him two, possibly three times.”

The trial continues.

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