Force used to restrain Pontins guest was 'reasonable', inquest told

Pontins, Pakefield.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Colchester dad Paul Reynolds (pictured) died at Pontins in Pakefield in 2017 - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY/NICK BUTCHER

A father-of-three who died following an incident at Pontins in Pakefield was posing a "significant" threat, an inquest has heard.

Colchester man Paul Reynolds, 38, died in hospital two days after being involved in an altercation at the holiday resort near Lowestoft in February 2017.

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

He was arrested by Suffolk police after being detained by Pontins security guards, but his condition worsened while in custody.

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

Police called an ambulance and he was taken to James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston in a critical condition.

Mark Rose, a security officer at Pontins, told an inquest into Mr Reynolds' death on Friday that he had seen a man lunge at another guest in the resort's ballroom shortly after 11.30pm on Valentine's Day.

Mr Rose, who had only been in the role for a week, helped another security guard restrain Mr Reynolds after the altercation.

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He told area coroner Jacqueline Devonish: "My mind was to move away from everyone else."

Mr Rose interlocked elbows with Mr Reynolds, who he described as a "strong gentleman", and left him with his colleague, Timothy Cator-Durrant.

The security officer said he diverted his attention to escorting Ms Bennett outside as she was "very agitated".

Mr Rose, who had obtained his Security Industry Authority badge the year prior, also said Pontins policy dictates that two members of staff are required to restrain female guests.

He said: "I put myself between her and the doors so she couldn't return."

When asked by Ms Devonish if Mr Reynolds was posing a "significant" threat, Mr Rose agreed and said there were "clear signs of aggression".

Mr Rose added that he and his colleagues felt it was necessary to intervene in the incident as they believed other people in the ballroom were in danger.

He described the use of force as "reasonable" before adding: "Unfortunately, the situation had already gone too far to defuse."

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

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