Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith has been found not guilty of the assault and murder of Dalian Atkinson.
Bettley-Smith used a baton three times on Mr Atkinson after he was Tasered to the ground by her fellow Police Officer boyfriend Benjamin Monk, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for manslaughter last year.
Bettley-Smith insists she did not lash out in anger at the retired footballer, but was afraid for her life because she was certain Mr Atkinson would have hurt her if he had gotten to his feet.
Mr. Atkinson had not flinched during two of three taser deployments and appeared to be pain-free when he smashed a window.
The 32-year-old told the jury she used her baton lawfully as a last resort to control Mr Atkinson, who she described as ‘actively resisting and attempting to get up’ at the scene in Meadow Close, Trench.
She told the court:
I thought he was trying to get up to fight. In my opinion he was trying to get up on to his hands and knees. I was terrified of Mr Atkinson getting up.
I was terrified to even get close to him because I thought I would come to serious harm if he was to get up.
If I could have done anything to not use my baton that night, then I would have. There was no anger or losing my cool.
Bettley-Smith added that learning of Mr. Atkinson’s death left her feeling overwhelmed, and that her feelings had not improved over the past six years.