Expert blames security guards over Pontins death

Paul Gladwell, from Colchester, died at Pontins Pakefield

Paul Gladwell, a Colchester dad-of-three, died at Pontins in Pakefield, near Lowestoft, on Valentine's Day 2017 - Credit: Archant/Supplied by family

A 'survivability expert' has pointed the finger at Pontins security guards over the death of holidaymaker and father-of-three Paul Reynolds.

Mr Reynolds, 38, from Colchester, died two days after initially being detained by security staff at Pontins Pakefield, near Lowestoft, on Valentine’s Day 2017.

Police were called to the scene, where Mr Reynolds was arrested, before becoming ill on the way to custody and being taken to hospital.

Paul Reynolds, from Colchester

Paul Reynolds, from Colchester, who died after being restrained at Pontins in Pakefield - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY/PA WIRE

An inquest into his death continued at Suffolk Coroner's Court on Thursday, April 29, where survivability expert Dr Jasmeet Soar said Mr Reynolds, also known as Paul Gladwell, would have survived if he had not been restrained.

He said: "Up until the actions of the security guards, he was functioning, but something switched to put him on a dying trajectory.

"If it were not for the restraint, he would have lived.

Paul Reynolds, from Colchester, who died after being restrained at Pontins in Pakefield

Paul Reynolds and his partner Carrie Bennett - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY/PA WIRE

"It was a fatal cocktail of events."

Most Read

The inquest, which began on April 5, had previously heard evidence from Pontins staff, who claimed they believed Mr Reynolds was faking being asleep, saying he was snoring and breathing when police arrived on the scene.

Dr Soar said: "In my opinion, he was unconscious when police arrived.

Paul Gladwell, a father-of-three from Colchester, died following an incident at Pontins Pakefield in 2017

Paul Gladwell, a father-of-three from Colchester, died following an incident at Pontins Pakefield in 2017 - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

"If staff had put him in the recovery position at any time while he was at Pontins, he would have had a different outcome.

"The first opportunity for police to assess him was when they arrived on the scene and had the recognised he was unconscious, they may have acted differently.

"His deterioration may have been missed because of the difficult circumstances in which he was being assessed, with the lights and loud music."

Pontins, Pakefield.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Pontins, Pakefield.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Mr Reynolds was placed in the back of a police van with an officer shortly after midnight, before an ambulance was called around 15 minutes later while on their way to custody.

Staff had initially intervened after Mr Reynolds became involved in a row between his partner Carrie Bennett and another guest, whose child Ms Bennett accused of hitting their own.

The inquest continues.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter