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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 September, 2003, 20:35 GMT 21:35 UK
Suspect's death 'was suicide'
Graham Curtis
Mr Curtis was prescribed anti-depressants shortly before he died
A former suspect in the unsolved case of a man killed after a fight outside a nightclub committed suicide, an inquest has ruled.

The body of Graham Curtis was found at his home in Port Hall Road in Brighton by a member of his family in June.

Mr Curtis was charged with the manslaughter of Jay Abatan, who died four years ago, but the charges were dropped before reaching court.

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.

Break-up with girlfriend

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

The inquest at Brighton Magistrates' Court on Tuesday heard that Mr Curtis had been being treated for depression at the time he hanged himself.

His family said he had been down for several weeks before he killed himself because of a break-up with his girlfriend.

Five days before his death, Mr Curtis had told his GP he was finding the split hard to deal with and was prescribed anti-depressants.

Jay Abatan
Jay Abatan was an accountant with two young children

His doctor told the coroner there were two reports in Mr Curtis's medical notes which said he had been suffering from stress since 1997.

Mr Curtis became a suspect in Mr Abatan's death after witnesses told police he was one of two men standing next to the accountant when an argument broke out over a taxi outside the Ocean Rooms nightclub.

Mr Abatan died five days later from injuries sustained after he was apparently hit and fell to the ground.

Detective Chief Inspector John Levett, of Sussex Police, said: "He still remains someone of interest to the inquiry and I don't think this will change anything.

"There is still a significant reward outstanding for evidence leading to information about what has happened and we would still encourage people to come forward."




SEE ALSO:
Former suspect in Abatan case dies
10 Jun 03  |  Southern Counties
New row over 'race' killing
12 May 00  |  UK News


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