A four week inquest has concluded, which examined the death of father of three Paul Reynolds (also known as Paul Gladwell) at Pontins Holiday Park in Lowestoft on 14 February 2017. Paul Reynolds died following restraint by Pontins security and contact with Suffolk Police officers.
Carrie Bennett, Paul Reynolds partner and mother of their children stated:
After four years of anguish it is with huge relief and gratitude to this jury that the family and friends of Paul can finally see that the truth has come out, of how he met his death. Paul was our big, loveable, larger than life gentle giant. Paul was a loving man and a doting father.
The jury have concluded, as we felt all along, that the restraint was dangerous, excessive and inappropriate and fell below the standards expected of security staff. Most importantly, the jury found that the restraint was dangerous, deliberate and an unlawful act which contributed to Paul’s death. Pontins staff then failed to adequately monitor Paul and declare it a medical emergency.
The jury also found that, regrettably, Suffolk police officers failed to appropriately assess and monitor him when they arrived, and when they sat him up.
The jury found that if Paul had not been restrained by the neck, and in the prone position, he would be alive with us today. His death was easily preventable. Paul should be with us here today.
We are delighted that the Coroner is going to write to express the concerns we share with her to Pontins and Suffolk Police. We demand urgent action to prevent any further unnecessary tragedies like this and to stop any other families experiencing what we have been, and continue, to go through.
If the wholly unnecessary death of our lovely Paul can achieve anything by way of change, that would be at least some small consolation.
I cannot thank enough all those who have helped me in our family’s fight for justice. Paul is and will always remain a massive part of my and my children’s lives and his memory will shine through.”
Daniel Cooper, Solicitor for Carrie Bennett:
“The significantly critical conclusions of this jury are reflective of the cruel and frightening ordeal Paul suffered. He was failed by Pontins staff and Suffolk police officers. The chokehold and manner of the restraint, for 12 minutes, by Pontins holiday park security staff was dangerous and inhumane, and caused his death.
We hope that today's conclusion gives some relief to Paul’s family, who have been waiting for answers for over four years.
We now look to the relevant authorities to consider further action against those involved in Paul’s death.”
Carrie Bennett was represented by Daniel Cooper of Imran Khan and Partners and Omran Belhadi of Nexus chambers.
Please contact DanielC@ikpsolicitors.com or 0207 404 3004 for further details.