29 June 2021

Bootlace marks proved Dalian Atkinson was kicked at least twice in the head

29 June 2021

The jury in the trial of a policeman accused of murdering Dalian Atkinson was shown pictures of distinctive triangular footwear marks found on the ex-footballer’s forehead.

The body mapping images of two separate areas of injury accepted to match Pc Benjamin Monk’s bootlaces were seen by jurors at Birmingham Crown Court as a pathologist listed marks he had recorded during a post-mortem examination.

As jurors began hearing a fourth week of evidence in the trial, forensic pathologist Dr Olaf Biedrzycki said he had requested specialist examination under polarised light of three apparently patterned injuries.

Dr Biedrzycki also listed 15 areas of “under-the-skin” bruising found on the body of the former Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town striker, including marks on his neck, shoulder, shoulder blade, flank, buttock, thigh, biceps, elbow and shin.

Dalian Atkinson death (PA Archive)

Before taking jurors through the details of the injuries, the pathologist said he had also identified three potential Taser marks on the 48-year-old’s chest.

Addressing marks to the right side of Mr Atkinson’s forehead, Dr Biedrzycki said they comprised “linear marks of intradermal red bruising that essentially formed the outlines of three adjacent triangles”.

The pathologist said of the other forehead injury, also forming a “triangle-shaped” area of bruising: “Just like on the right forehead, on the left forehead there was a subtle suggestion of patterned mottled intradermal bruising.

“Cross polarised light revealed an obvious patterned injury.”

Two circular marks had also been shown by examination under polarised light, the witness added.

Meanwhile, Mr Atkinson had another “mottled” area of injury on his right shoulder, the court heard, but it was not possible to say whether it had been caused by a boot.

Shoulder injury

Earlier in the trial, jurors were told that blood matching Mr Atkinson was found on the laces and tongue of Monk’s right boot and the instep area of his left boot.

During the 10th day of evidence, forensic scientist Penelope Griffiths showed jurors staining to Monk’s boots, which were exhibited in the courtroom in a clear plastic bag.

Prosecution QC Alexandra Healy asked Ms Griffiths to show the jury where she had found contact bloodstaining on Monk’s footwear.

The witness told the jury: “If you look at the diamond shape where the laces cross, that is where the bloodstain is… and underneath the laces on the tongue itself.”

Spots and splashes of blood were also found on Monk’s boots, Ms Griffiths said, adding: “If you have forceful contact with a surface, blood would be forced away from the site of that impact in the form of small airborne droplets.

“If you have contact staining and spots and splashes radiating away, that indicates that the boot has had a forceful contact with a surface.”

Another forensic scientist, Jennifer Donoghue, was also asked to examine Monk’s footwear and that of three other officers in 2016 and early 2017.

She told the trial that acetate overlays of the lacing pattern on 43-year-old Monk’s boots matched two marks on Mr Atkinson’s forehead shown on photographs of his injuries.

Although she could not say which boot caused either mark, she told the jury: “I found two marks that corresponded with the boots. Both impressions corresponded with both the left and the right.”

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