Criminal charges to be considered against police officers after death of father-of-three at holiday park

Pontins holiday park in Pakefield. Picture: Archant.

Pontins holiday park in Pakefield. Picture: Archant. - Credit: Archant

Charges of gross negligence manslaughter could be brought against two Suffolk Police officers and one former officer after a man died following his arrest at a holiday park.

An independent police conduct investigation began in February 2017 following the death of father-of three Paul Reynolds - also known as Paul Gladwell – from Colchester, with the case now being referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration.

The 38-year-old was initially detained by staff at Pontins Holiday Park in Pakefield at 11.40pm on February 14 after what is believed to have been an altercation with another guest.

Suffolk Police were called to the site and Mr Reynolds was subsequently arrested on suspicion of assault. While being transported to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre in a police van, officers became concerned for his wellbeing as Mr Reynolds had fallen ill. They stopped the police van and contacted an ambulance.

Mr Reynolds was treated at the scene and taken to James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston 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.

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The incident was referred to the Independent Office For Police Conduct (IOPC), then known as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), with a file passed to Suffolk Police in July 2018 in relation to potential disciplinary proceedings.

During the investigation, representatives visited the scene, conducted house-to-house enquiries, spoke to witnesses and gathered CCTV footage.

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One officer left his role during the course of the investigation but has also been referred to the CPS.

Suffolk Police carried out a parallel investigation and have also referred a file to the CPS to consider charges against five members of the security staff under section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

IOPC Regional Director Sarah Green said: 'Our thoughts remain with Mr Reynolds' family and friends and everyone affected by his death.

'We refer cases to the CPS if our investigations indicate a criminal offence may have been committed. It does not mean criminal charges will necessarily follow. We will now await a CPS decision on this matter.'

Pontins have been contacted for comment.

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