Brighton attack victim Jay Abatan unlawfully killed

Jay Abatan Jay Abatan died in hospital five days after he hit his head on a pavement in Brighton

Related Stories

A man who died after an "unprovoked attack" outside a nightclub 11 years ago was unlawfully killed, a coroner has recorded.

Jay Abatan, 42, was punched twice in the face outside the Ocean Rooms in Brighton in what his family think was a racist assault.

He fractured his skull on the pavement and died in hospital five days later.

Coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley said: "The assault inadvertently resulted in his death."

Mr Abatan, an accountant from Eastbourne, was attacked in January 1999 following a row over a taxi.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of the father-of-two's death was a severe head injury.

Ms Hamilton-Deeley added: "I'm satisfied that Jay was punched twice in the face by an individual. The act of punching him was an unlawful and dangerous assault upon him.

"Any sober and reasonable person would realise that Jay was at risk of serious harm by that assault."

Start Quote

We will not stop until all the truth comes out”

End Quote Michael Abatan

She told the inquest at Brighton Magistrates' Court the attack was "entirely unprovoked and entirely unexplained".

Following the verdict, Mr Abatan's brother Michael read a statement, which said: "Eleven years on we have learned that Jay was severely assaulted and left, by many of those who saw, to die on the roadside.

"As a family, we know others out there do remember what happened to Jay and we will not stop until all the truth comes out."

The family of Mr Abatan, who was mixed race, believe the attack against him was racially motivated.

Manslaughter charges against two men were dropped and they were cleared of assaulting Michael Abatan.

One of the men committed suicide in 2003.

'Reviewing evidence'

Mr Abatan's family claimed there were significant failings with the police investigation and two detective inspectors were later disciplined.

Det Supt Andy Griffiths, of Sussex Police, said: "We share the frustration of Jay's family that no-one has been brought to justice for this crime and will be reviewing evidence given by witnesses during the inquest to see if it provides new lines of inquiry.

"If so, these will be investigated by a team from the force's Major Crime Branch.

"The inquest was a painful process for Jay's family and friends as they heard evidence of the evening that resulted in his death and my thoughts are with them today."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Sussex

Weather

Brighton

Min. Night 16 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.