Inquest into death of father-of-three after Pontins arrest delayed
PUBLISHED: 13:18 22 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:45 22 June 2020
An inquest into how a father-of-three died following an arrest at Pakefield’s Pontins Holiday Park has been delayed while the family appeals a decision not to charge anyone with his death.
Paul Gladwell, also known as Paul Reynolds, from Colchester, died on February 16, 2017 at James Paget University Hospital (JPUH), in Gorleston, after becoming unwell while in custody.
He had previously been detained by staff at Pontins and later arrested by the police.
A pre-inquest review, where lawyers discuss the formalities surrounding the inquiry, took place at Suffolk Coroner’s Court in Ipswich.
A full inquest was due to take place on September 7 but had to be abandoned by the court, while area coroner Jacqueline Devonish awaits the results of an appeal made by Mr Gladwell’s family against the decision not to charge anyone with his death.
A new date for the inquest, which will be heard by a jury and will take three weeks, has been set for April 19, 2021.
Mr Gladwell, 38, was initially detained by staff at Pontins Holiday Park in Pakefield at 11.40pm on February 14, 2017 after what is thought to have been an altercation with another guest.
He was then arrested on suspicion of assault by Suffolk police, who were called to the site.
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While being transported to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre in a police van, officers became concerned for his wellbeing, stopped the van and contacted an ambulance.
He was treated at the scene before being taken to JPUH by ambulance in a critical condition. However, he was later pronounced dead.
Criminal charges of manslaughter were considered after an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). However, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) found insufficient evidence to charge any of the eight people involved.
In August 2019, a CPS spokesperson said: “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.”
However, shortly afterwards his family appealed the decision. The CPS is now awaiting a report from an expert witness, before reconsidering its decision.
An outcome is expected by the end of September however, Ms Devonish criticised the CPS for the delay proceedings, saying she was “anxious to get it heard”.
A CPS decision is expected by the end of September.
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