British prosecutors have accused a police officer of murder for allegedly using unnecessary force against former Premier League star Dalian Atkinson, who died after being kicked in the head and shot with a stun gun for 33 seconds.
The former Aston Villa star, popular for scoring one of his club's most famous goals, went into cardiac arrest on his way to the hospital after officers used a taser to subdue the 48-year-old after an altercation.
'NEVER SEEN THAT': Keeper's insane act stuns Champions League
Atkinson died 90 minutes after officers tasered him during the altercation in 2016.
Prosecutors alleged West Mercia Police Constable Benjamin Monk, 42, used a stun gun for 33 seconds, which is more than six times longer than standard, on Atkinson.
Authorities charged Monk with murder and manslaughter after a three-year inquiry.
Monk’s colleague, Police Constable Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, is also facing trial charged with assault.
The two appeared at Birmingham Crown Court Tuesday for the start of their trial. Both officers deny wrongdoing.
Atkinson 'kicked' in arrest
Police were called to Atkinson's father's Telford home in 2016 after they heard the former Premier League player shouting outside.
Prosector Alexandra Healy said Atkinson had serious health problems including end-stage renal failure, the court heard.
He moved towards the officers when Monk used his stun gun twice ineffectively.
The third deployment of the stun gun incapacitated Atkinson and caused him to fall forward onto the road, she said.
“The standard default setting of a Taser is a five-second phase, but it is possible to override that by continuing to depress the trigger,'' the prosecutor told the jury.
“And PC Monk continued to depress the trigger for over six times the length of a standard five-second phase.''
Prosecutors also allege that Monk kicked Atkinson in the head hard enough to leave the imprints of his laces on the man's forehead.
Healy alleged Monk wasn't acting in self-defence when he kicked Atkinson twice in the head.
“He was no doubt angry that he had been put in fear by this man. He chose to take that anger out on Dalian Atkinson by kicking him in the head," she said.
Prosecutors claim while Atkinson's health problems meant he was "at a greatly increased risk of dying," they allege he would not have died that night if it wasn't for the third stun gun deployment and the kicks to the head.
Atkinson's football career
The English striker played for Ispwhich Town, Sheffield United, Aston Villa and Manchester City during his time in the Premier League.
Atkinson became an Aston Vila favourite after scoring one of the club's most famous goals against Wimbledon in 1992.
The forward picked up the ball in his own half and surged forward, evading a number of challenges, before chipping the keeper.
He scored 20 Premier League goals for Villa and also netted in the 1994 League Cup final in the team’s 3-1 win over Manchester United.
Atkinson had spells with Real Sociedad in Spain, Fenerbahce in Turkey and also in South Korea.
His one season at Sociedad came in the 1990-91, a time when English players seldom played abroad.
Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.