'Stranglehold' may have been used to restrain Pontins guest, inquest hears

Pontins, Pakefield.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Paul Reynolds (inset) died two days after his arrest at Pontins Pakefield - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY/NICK BUTCHER

A police officer has told an inquest he believes he saw a "stranglehold" being used as a father-of-three was restrained at a holiday park.

Colchester man Paul Reynolds, 38, died in hospital two days after being involved in an altercation with another guest at Pontins Pakefield, near Lowestoft, on Valentine's Day 2017.

Mr Reynolds, also known as Paul Gladwell, had been on holiday at the resort with his partner Carrie Bennett and their three sons.

An inquest into Mr Reynolds' death previously heard he appeared to be sleeping as officers escorted him to a nearby police van.

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

At Suffolk Coroners' Court on Wednesday, PC Shane Mingay told area coroner Jacqueline Devonish he arrived at the holiday park shortly after midnight to assist officers already at the scene.

He viewed CCTV footage of the incident the following morning, but said the clips did not reveal the full extent of the altercation.

PC Mingay said: "I believe the stranglehold was possibly applied, but they went out of view for three minutes."

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The officer also said the resort's security guards were left "shaken up" after the incident and felt they were being put "under the spotlight" when questioned by police.

Timothy Cator-Durrant, a service support officer at Pontins, had previously denied putting his arm around Mr Reynolds' neck - while another member of staff described the force used to restrain the guest as "reasonable".

Debra Betts, a first aid trainer, told Wednesday's hearing that she would have expected the police officers to call an ambulance when Mr Reynolds appeared unresponsive after his restraint.

When asked by Ms Devonish what officers should do when they believe someone under arrest is feigning being asleep, Mrs Betts said they should not assume this is the case.

She told the inquest: "If somebody is unresponsive, (police are) trained to call an ambulance straight away."

Mrs Betts also said the prone position - which the inquest had heard Mr Reynolds was placed in by Pontins staff - was not recommended to restrain people.

She added: "It's important you get the position right so the chest and stomach are not flat on the floor."

The inquest, which is being held before a jury, continues.

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