Partner's tribute to 'doting father' after inquest rules his death unlawful

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

Carrie Bennett paid tribute to Paul Reynolds after an inquest into his death concluded - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY/PA WIRE

The partner of Paul Reynolds, who died after being restrained at Pontins Pakefield, has said "the truth has come out" after an inquest ruled his death unlawful.

Carrie Bennett was on holiday with Mr Reynolds at the holiday park on Valentine's Day in 2017 when he was involved in an altercation with another guest.

Mr Reynolds, who had three children with Ms Bennett, was restrained by security staff before being arrested by police.

He died in hospital two days after the incident and an inquest into his death found that Pontins staff had restrained him by his neck.

On Tuesday at Suffolk Coroners' Court, a jury found security staff had acted "dangerously" and caused Mr Reynolds' death.

Paul Gladwell, also known as Paul Reynolds, from Colchester

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

CCTV footage of the incident and restraint has now been released by the coroners' service.

In a tribute released after the inquest's conclusion, Ms Bennett described her partner as a "loving man and a doting father".

She said: "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.

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"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."

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