Justice for Jay

Tuesday 29 January sadly marks 20 years since the death of Jay Abatan.  Please join Jay’s brother Michael, members of Pavilion Labour and other campaigners from 4pm outside Brighton Police Station in John Street during a 20th anniversary vigil to demand ‘Justice for Jay’. 

Jay was attacked outside the Ocean Rooms in Brighton in what is believed to have been a racially motivated attack.  Sussex Police were criticised for their investigation and, despite many witnesses to the attack, still no one has stood trial.

Brighton Pavilion Labour Party sends its solidarity and support to the Abatan family.  Please show your solidarity with Jay’s family on Tuesday 29 January and join with all of us standing-up to racism.

Jay’s brother, Michael has sent the following message:

“My name is Michael Abatan and my brother, Jay Abatan, was attacked in January 1999 outside the Ocean Rooms in Brighton in what I believe was a racially motivated attack. Sussex Police were criticised at the time for fundamental mistakes in the investigation and deliberate underfunding. I have never had a satisfactory answer as to whether this was simply incompetence or due to Police links with the suspect group.

29th January 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of his death. Still nobody has stood trial over his killing. I will be marking this anniversary with a vigil outside Brighton Police station in John Street, Brighton. I will be there from 4pm.

I have campaigned since that time to try and bring the men responsible for his death to justice. Sussex Police have recently succeeded in bringing a prosecution after 32 years against Russell Bishop so I know that this is possible.

I have recently been approached with details of a potential witness who has never been spoken to by police. Despite 2 investigations and reviews by other police forces, there are still witnesses out there who have never been spoken to. This fills me with despair.

My brother and I are mixed race, our mother was English and our father Nigerian. We believe that one of the reasons we have been denied justice is due to our colour. For example the year my brother was killed he was the only homicide victim in Sussex not to have his death investigated with the use of the Holmes Computer, a murder investigation tool. The enquiry team that was set up for his death was staffed and funded at the same level as an ABH, despite his injuries leading to his death.

I am intending to mark my brother’s death on the 29th January and would like to remind people out there who are protecting these men that it is not too late to come forward and do the right thing. I am told that there are some witnesses who are still wrestling with their conscience but scared of repercussions. My message to them is it is never easy to do what is right but they should have courage to correct this injustice.

jay abatan

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