JURORS overseeing the inquest of a Colchester man who died after being restrained found there were missed opportunities to save him.

Paul Reynolds, 38, was held in a prone position for around 11 minutes with a knee to his back after an initial neck hold, a hearing in Ipswich recorded.

Jurors, who listened to evidence during a three-week hearing, found that the restraint methods were not “appropriate or proportionate” and Mr Reynolds, also known as Paul Gladwell, had not been physically violent.

He was restrained by security and other staff at Pontins in Pakefield near Lowestoft, Suffolk, until police arrived on the evening of February 14, 2017.

Mr Reynolds was handcuffed and placed in a police van, then became unwell while on journey to the police investigation centre.

The van was stopped, an ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital, where he died on February 16.

Jurors, who reached a lengthy narrative conclusion guided by 15 questions, found that Mr Reynolds would have lived if he had not been restrained.

They also found there were missed opportunities to save Mr Reynolds, noting if Pontins staff or police recognised he was unresponsive, placed him in the recovery position and called an ambulance he would have survived.

His medical cause of death was recorded as “complications arising from restraint of an intoxicated, obese individual in a prone position through compression of the neck and a potential obstruction of the upper airway”.

Inquest - Paul Reynolds

Inquest - Paul Reynolds

In their conclusion, jurors said: “Mr Reynolds was not physically violent.

“The restraint used was dangerous, excessive and inappropriate and fell below the standards of the Pontins policy.”

They went on: “The SIA (Security Industry Authority) badged security guard restrained Mr Reynolds with a neck hold.

“This restraint should only be used when in fear for your life.

“He was then held in a prone position with his hands behind his back for approximately 11 minutes with a knee to the left side of his back.”

They said his legs were held folded in a hold “used by the police and prison service only as a last resort in specific extreme circumstances”.

They said: “No attempt was made to reduce the force applied or to move him to a less risky position once staff had gained control of the situation”.

The restraint by the neck was described by the jury as a “deliberate and unlawful act which contributed to (Mr Reynolds’s) death”.

The jury recorded Pontins staff “exaggerated the severity of the initial altercation to police” and failed to pass on details of the initial neck restraint, but did tell officers about the ground restraint.

They recorded police failed to reassess Mr Reynolds’s condition when he was sat up, and they failed to reduce the risk to others present by turning off the music and clearing the ballroom.

Suffolk’s area coroner Jacqueline Devonish said she would issue a Prevention of Future Deaths report to Pontins over concerns about staff training.

She said she would also issue reports to Suffolk Police and the National Police Chiefs Council over concerns officers appeared to think “pain pressure testing to determine whether a person is unconscious or just asleep is an assault rather than justifiable under some circumstances”.

Ms Devonish said she was also concerned officers did not clear the ballroom and turn the music off.

She extended her “deepest condolences” to the family of Mr Reynolds.