Expert blames security guards over Pontins death
- 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.
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.
"It was a fatal cocktail of events."
- 1 Band and singer pull out of Latitude Festival due to positive Covid tests
- 2 Coronavirus cases in East Suffolk almost double in a week
- 3 Tributes paid to 'intelligent, humble, quiet and caring' family man
- 4 Seafood restaurant and bar set to transform historic Lowestoft pub
- 5 Family fundraising for Aimee, 16, after leukaemia diagnosis
- 6 Lowestoft-area high school honours Year 11 students with glitzy prom
- 7 Sexual misconduct allegations against Suffolk police officers revealed under FoI laws
- 8 'The vibe is good' - Return to normality on first day of Latitude Festival
- 9 Man charged after late night crash in Lowestoft
- 10 Brit Award winner cancels Latitude and Norwich shows due to Covid
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.
"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."
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.