Family of man assaulted outside Brighton nightclub call for public inquiry 25 years after his death

  • WATCH ITV News Meridian Malcolm Shaw reporting from Brighton.

The family of an accountant who died after he was attacked outside a nightclub in Brighton, 25 years ago, are calling for a full public inquiry into the case.

Jay Abatan, a father-of-two from Worthing, was fatally injured in January 1999. He died five days later. His brother believes the attack was racially-motivated.

Sussex Police were heavily criticised over their handling of the investigation, and no-one has ever been convicted.

Campaigners gathered outside Brighton Police Station yesterday (Sunday 28 January) calling for justice.

  • Jay’s family believe they can still secure justice.

Jay's brother, Michael, was also targeted in the same incident, outside the Ocean Rooms in Morley Street.

At an inquest into his death in 2010, a coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

In 2020, Sussex Police offered a £10,000 reward for new leads.

Despite the incident being investigated, no one was ever brought to trial.

The brothers had been out celebrating Jay’s promotion when they were attacked as they waited for a taxi.

A Sussex Police spokesperson said: "Jay Abatan was assaulted 25 years ago during a night out in Brighton on 24 January 1999, and tragically died as a result of the head injury he sustained five days later.

"Two men were arrested and charged in connection with his death, but were later cleared of lesser charges of affray and assault following a trial.

"Senior detectives have met and corresponded with the Abatan family on a number of occasions over the years in order to respond to their concerns and to provide answers to any questions raised.

"In 2020, we repeated our appeal for information about this tragic death and offered a £10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person responsible for the death of Jay. A potential witness came forward however there was no information from this witness which could assist the investigation and there are currently no developments in the case."We remain committed to investigating any new information that will assist in convicting those responsible for the death of Jay."

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