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A police officer has been charged with the murder of retired footballer Dalian Atkinson who died after being Tasered.

The ex-Aston Villa striker, 48, was restrained by police officers at his father's house in Telford, Shropshire, on 15 August 2016.

A second police officer, also from the West Mercia Police force, has been charged with assault causing actual bodily harm.

Both have appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has not named the officers because it believes their defence will apply for them to remain anonymous.

An alternative charge of an unlawful act manslaughter has also been put forward by the CPS for the officer charged with murder, known as "Officer A".

He was remanded in custody after appearing before magistrates.

The second officer, "Officer B", indicated she would plead not guilty and was bailed ahead of their next appearance at Birmingham Crown Court later.

The CPS made the decision to press charges following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Mr Atkinson's family has been informed, a spokesperson said, and issued a statement welcoming the decision but they "regret that already more than three years have passed since Dalian died".

Police officers attended Meadows Close in Trench, Telford, where Mr Atkinson was detained outside an address at about 01:30 BST.

He was taken by ambulance to the Princess Royal Hospital where he later died.

Relatives said the footballer was suffering from a number of health issues and had a weak heart when the Taser was deployed.

Mr Atkinson started his career at Ipswich Town before moving to Sheffield Wednesday, Real Sociedad, Aston Villa and Fenerbah├že in Turkey.

He is best remembered for scoring the Match of the Day goal of the season in 1992-93 when he dribbled the ball from inside his own half before chipping the Wimbledon keeper from the edge of the penalty area.

BBC News