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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 June, 2003, 20:17 GMT 21:17 UK
Former suspect in Abatan case dies
Jay Abatan
Jay Abatan was an accountant with two young children
One of the original suspects in the unsolved case of a Sussex man killed after a fight outside a nightclub has been found dead.

Graham Curtis was charged with the manslaughter of Jay Abatan, who died in 1999, but the charges were dropped before reaching court.

After the case against Mr Curtis and another man collapsed, Sussex Police said they were not looking for anyone else over the death.

Mr Curtis, 41, was found dead at his home in Port Hall Road in Brighton at the weekend by a member of his family.

Argument over taxi

Police say they are not treating the death as suspicious.

Mr Abatan, an accountant from Eastbourne, with two young children by his long-term partner, was on a night out in Brighton with his brother Michael when he was attacked on 23 January 1999.

I would have hoped that he would have found the courage to come forward and say exactly what happened to Jay
Jay Abatan's brother Michael

After leaving the Ocean Rooms nightclub an argument broke out when the brothers and their friends tried to get into a taxi.

Believing the taxi to be theirs, Mr Abatan asked two men inside it to get out, while two other men stood beside him.

His brother Michael then saw Jay fall to the floor.

'Very sad news'

Forensic reports showed he had received at least one blow to his face and a fractured skull from when he hit the pavement. He died five days later.

Statements passed to the BBC and confirmed by Sussex Police revealed one of the two men standing next to Mr Abatan was Graham Curtis.

The Ocean Rooms nightclub
Jay Abatan had been on a night out at the Ocean Rooms nightclub

Since the charges against the two men were dropped nobody else has been arrested by police over the death and Mr Abatan's inquest has still not taken place.

Michael Abatan has run a campaign in his brother's memory called Justice for Jay.

He told BBC South East he was saddened to hear of Mr Curtis' death.

"I think it's very sad news for Graham Curtis' family.

"I would have hoped that he would have found the courage to come forward and say exactly what happened to Jay."

Sussex Police said the investigation into Jay Abatan's death was still open.




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