Death of Dalian Atkinson: CPS statement
UPDATE ON 13/11/2019 TO INCLUDE NAMES:
Jenny Hopkins from the CPS said: “Following the death of Dalian Atkinson in Telford on 15 August 2016, the Crown Prosecution Service has today (7 November) authorised a charge of murder against West Mercia police constable Benjamin Monk. Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, a PC 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.
“Criminal proceedings against the two police officers are now active and they have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
They will appear together at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court and then Birmingham Crown Court on 07 November.
Notes to editors
- Jenny Hopkins is Head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division in the CPS
- Benjamin Monk has been charged with the murder of Dalian Atkinson on 15 August 2016 in Telford, Shropshire. He has also been charged with unlawful act manslaughter as an alternative offence. An alternative offence is a lesser offence that a jury may consider if it first finds that the more serious charge has not been proved
- Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith has been charged with assault causing Actual Bodily Harm
- They will appear together at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court and then Birmingham Crown Court on 07 November
About the CPS and its function
Any decision by the CPS does not imply any finding concerning guilt or criminal conduct; the CPS makes decisions only according to the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors and it is applied in all decisions on whether or not to prosecute.
It is not the function of the CPS to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for the criminal court to consider.
The CPS assessment of any case is not in any sense a finding of, or implication of, any guilt or criminal conduct. It is not a finding of fact, which can only be made by a court, but rather an assessment of what it might be possible to prove to a court, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
This assessment is based on the evidence available arising out of the IOPC investigation and not on the evidence that is likely to be gathered by the defence, and likely to be used to test the prosecution evidence. The CPS charging decision is therefore necessarily an assessment on the basis of the evidence that is available to the CPS at the time the decision is made.
CPS prosecutors must also keep every case under review, so that they take account of any change in circumstances that occurs as the case develops, including what becomes known of the defence case. If appropriate, the CPS may change the charges or stop a case.