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No manslaughter charges to be brought against police officers after Pontins death

PUBLISHED: 10:44 23 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:44 23 August 2019

Pontins holiday park in Pakefield. Picture: Archant.

Pontins holiday park in Pakefield. Picture: Archant.

Archant

Police officers and security staff who detained a man who died two days later in hospital will not be prosecuted for his death.

Paul Gladwell was initially detained by staff at Pontins Holiday Park in Pakefield at 11.40pm on February 14 2017 after what is believed to have been an altercation with another guest.

The 38-year-old, from Colchester, was arrested by officers from Suffolk Police on suspicion of assault, but became unwell while being transported to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre in a police van.

The van was stopped and an ambulance was called, with Mr Gladwell, also known as Paul Reynolds treated at the scene before being rushed to the James Paget University Hospital in a critical condition.

After a CT scan he was transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, but was pronounced dead on Thursday, February 16.

Criminal charges of manslaughter were considered after an independent police conduct investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) found insufficient evidence to charge any of the eight people involved.

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A CPS spokesperson said: "We have considered this case carefully, including all of the medical evidence. As no direct causal link between Mr Reynolds' death and the actions of any one individual can be established, the CPS has decided there is insufficient evidence to bring manslaughter charges.

‎"A health and safety prosecution was considered against one Pontins employee but it was decided it would not be proportionate or in the public interest to prosecute one person in the circumstances.

"The CPS understands the impact this decision will have on Mr Reynolds's family and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

"We have written to them to explain our reasons. They also have the right to an independent review of our decision."

A spokesperson for Suffolk Police said: "Detectives from Suffolk Police conducted an investigation into the events at Pontins on the night of February 14 2017. As a result, a file was referred to the CPS to consider charges relating to manslaughter and Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, involving members of the security staff.

"The IOPC carried out a parallel investigation into the actions of the police officers who attended the site on February 14 and also passed a file to the CPS.

"After reviewing the evidence, the CPS decided that no charges will be brought against any persons in conncection with the death of Paul Reynolds."

Pontins have been approached for comment.

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