Fresh appeal over 21-year-old race killing

Posted On 29 Jan 2020 at 11:43 am


A fresh appeal has been made for witnesses to a brawl which led to the death of Jay Abatan 21 years ago.

Mr Abatan, 42, was attacked during a row over a taxi outside the Ocean Rooms in Morley Road on 24 January, 1999.

He tragically died as a result of the head injury he sustained five days later.

His family, including his brother Michael who was present during the row, believe the assault was race-motivated.

The Spearhead

Last year, Michael held a vigil outside John Street police station. He has criticised the force for not investigating the case fully.

Two men were arrested and charged in connection with the death of Jay but were later cleared of lesser charges of affray and assault during a trial.

Sussex Police apologised for failings in the case in 1999 and again in 2005. Last year, it said it was still committed to investigating any new information.

Detective Superintendent Emma Heater of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team said: “The case remains open.

“We are appealing for anybody who has so far felt unable to speak about what they either witnessed or maybe something that they have subsequently heard that could be significant information in this case.

“You may not appreciate the importance of what you saw or heard so we urge you to report it, you may hold the piece of the puzzle that allows us to build the picture to provide answers for the family of Jay.”

“We will investigate any viable new lines of enquiry and urge anyone with information to come forward.

“We are also offering a £10,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of any person responsible for the death of Jay Abatan.”

If you have any information about the case please report online
or call 101 quoting Operation Dorchester or use the Major Incident Public Portal

Alternatively, you can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report online

  1. peter reubens Reply

    The man that was accused of it many years ago killed himself ffs – so give it a rest ffs – you’re achieving nothing – is this campaign for michaels benefit or yours you self serving egotist

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