Police constables Benjamin Monk (left), and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith (right) arriving at Birmingham Crown Court (Image: SWNS)
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The policeman facing jail for killing Dalian Atkinson was “hell-bent” on seducing the rookie colleague who was with him the night he fatally tasered the Aston Villa hero.
Benjamin Monk was “besotted” with Ellie Bettley-Smith and seduced her as they sat drinking coffee in a McDonald’s drive-thru, the Mirror can reveal.
Monk, 42, will be sentenced next week after being convicted of manslaughter.
Jurors on Thursday failed to reach a verdict on Bettley-Smith, 31, who denies assaulting Dalian, 48. She now faces a wait to see if there will be a retrial.
Bettley-Smith first went out on patrol with divorced Monk, who has a 12-year-old daughter, months after she joined West Mercia Police in early 2015.
Dalian Atkinson was 48
Monk and Bettley-Smith were working together that fateful night
They dated for almost two years, and were a couple at the time of Dalian’s death in Telford, Shrops, in 2016.
A friend said: “Ben went from being married with a kid to being a single bloke.
"He loved being free and single and was besotted with Ellie from the moment she joined.
“She was assigned another tutor officer but went out with Ben on jobs too. Ben was always speaking about her, even before they got together.”
Dalian in his Aston Villa days
Bettley-Smith told jurors Monk had a “real effortless charm”.
The pair initially kept their romance under wraps, but it was not long before some colleagues found out.
The friend said: “It was very much low-key. Only a few fellow officers knew they were together.
“The bosses only found out the truth after Independent Office for Police Conduct investigators started looking into Ben and Ellie.”
The pair kept their relationship low-key
There are no rules on officers having relationships with each other, but it is considered “best practice” to notify bosses.
The pair split “on good terms” in June 2018. Friends blamed the criminal charges for the separation.
Monk joined West Mercia Police in 2002, when he was aged 22.
He had fired his Taser only once, in 2010, before using it on Mr Atkinson.
Bettley-Smith, a university graduate, was described in court as someone “without a violent bone in her body”.
She had never used her baton before Mr Atkinson’s death and had been an officer for only 18 months.
Before joining she worked at a college helping students with learning difficulties.
Two months before Dalian’s death, Bettley-Smith received a commendation after helping to find a kidnapped baby.