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Father died after Pontins security restrained him, inquest hears

Father died after he was restrained by security at Pontins holiday park when his partner accosted guest whose child was ‘hitting their son’, inquest hears

  • Paul Reynolds restrained by security at Pontins Pakefield in Lowesoft, Suffolk 
  • Partner Carrie Bennett told the inquest that a child had been hitting their son
  • She decided she was ‘going to say something’ as they left February 14, 2017
  • Reynolds, 38, from Colchester, Essex, was handcuffed and placed in police van 

A father died after he was restrained by security at Pontins holiday park when his partner accosted a guest whose child was ‘hitting their son’, an inquest heard.  

Paul Reynolds, also known as Paul Gladwell, was restrained by security staff at Pontins Pakefield near Lowestoft, Suffolk on February 14, 2017.

The 38-year-old, of Colchester, Essex, was handcuffed and placed in a police van, Monday’s hearing in Ipswich was told.

 Paul Reynolds (pictured with partner Carrie Bennett) died after he was restrained by security staff at Pontins Pakefield near Lowesoft, Suffolk

Mr Reynolds, 38, from Colchester, Essex, (pictured) was handcuffed and placed in a police van at Pontins Pakefield

Officers stopped the vehicle ‘when they noticed Mr Reynolds being unwell’ on the way to the police investigation centre, Suffolk area coroner Jacqueline Devonish said.

She went on: ‘They performed CPR until paramedics arrived.’

Mr Reynolds was taken to hospital where he died on February 16.

His partner Carrie Bennett told the inquest that a child had been hitting their son, and she decided she was ‘going to say something’ as they left a communal area at the park on the evening of February 14.

She said that Mr Reynolds told her to ‘leave it’ but she did speak to the guest.

‘I said “can you do me a favour and have a word with your brat kid? She keeps coming over and smacking my boy”,’ said Ms Bennett.

Mr Reynold’s partner Carrie Bennett told the inquest that a child had been hitting their son and she decided she was ‘going to say something’ as they left a communal area at the park on the evening of February 14. Pictured: Stock picture of Pontins Pakefield

 Officers stopped the vehicle ‘when they noticed Mr Reynolds being unwell’ on the way to the police investigation centre. Pictured: Mr Reynolds and Carrie Bennett together

She said that the situation ‘just escalated from there’ and that she believed security staff ‘saw Paul and judged him as he was hench’.

She said that when he was carried out to the police van his head was ‘flopping forwards’.

Ms Bennett said she was told he was asleep but that she did not believe this as he snores when he is asleep.

She said that neither she nor Mr Reynolds were drunk but that both of them had been drinking that day.

Support worker Dale Prentice said that Mr Reynolds was autistic and he would help him with appointments and completing benefits forms.

‘He couldn’t read or write very well,’ he said. ‘If he got a letter he would bring it to me to read to him.’

Ms Bennett said she was told Mr Reynolds (pictured) was asleep but that she did not believe this as he snores when he is asleep

He said that Mr Reynolds would drink alcohol daily, adding: ‘He used to have around eight cans (of Strongbow cider) a day.’

He said he was ‘very protective of his family’, adding: ‘Paul was quite short when he was younger and he built himself up to look after himself.’

Mr Prentice said that Mr Reynolds and Ms Bennett had a ‘volatile’ relationship.

He said he was ‘distressed’ when he was told of his death.

‘I would be lying if I didn’t say I thought about him every day, even now,’ he said. ‘He was such a gentle giant. If you saw Paul you would probably get the wrong idea of him.’

Mr Reynolds’s mother Carol Hurst said that her son had Asperger’s syndrome, was ‘obsessive with cleaning’ and ‘couldn’t stand to be on his own’.

The inquest, which is being heard before a jury and is expected to last four weeks, continues.  

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