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  1. ITV Report

Judge lifts court order protecting officers' identity in Dalian Atkinson trial

Dalian Atkinson played for Aston Villa from 1991-1995 Credit: Neal Simpson / EMPICS Sport

A court order protecting the identity of two police officers charged after an inquiry into the death of former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson has been lifted by a judge at Birmingham Crown Court.

Judge Simon Drew QC overturned the Contempt of Court Act order, allowing the naming of West Mercia Police Constables Benjamin Monk and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, after submissions by media organisations.

Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/PA Images

Police constables Benjamin Monk (right), who is accused of the murder of Dalian Atkinson, and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith (left), who is accused of assaulting him on the same date, are seen leaving Birmingham Crown Court after a review hearing.

Mr Atkinson, a former Aston Villa footballer, died after being Tasered near his father's home in Telford in 2016.

At the hearing their lawyers agreed that anonymity could not be justified, instead arguing that their home addresses should not be revealed in media reports.