Justice for Jay Abatan

by BARAC UK in London, England, United Kingdom

Justice for Jay Abatan
We did it
On 30th April 2024 we successfully raised £460 with 11 supporters in 102 days

To raise legal funds for Justice 4 Jay campaign to bring justice for Jay Abatan, 25 years after he was killed in a brutal racist attack.

by BARAC UK in London, England, United Kingdom

Racist Murder of Jay Abatan

Jay Abatan died on 29th January 1999.  He had been attacked in the early hours of the 24th January in Morley Street, Brighton.  He was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital with significant head injuries and never regained consciousness.  He was placed on life support which was switched off five days later.   

Initially a group of four men were identified and arrested for the attack on Jay and his brother Michael. Two men were subsequently charged with the manslaughter of Jay, actual bodily harm (ABH) on Michael and affray and they were released on bail. On the day the case was listed for commital, the Prosecution decided to drop the charges of manslaughter against one of the men despite the case having been prepared on a “joint enterprise” basis.  Officers claimed that Prosecution Counsel asked them what their “gut feeling” was about who was most likely to be responsible for causing Jay’s death and on that   they dropped the charges of manslaughter against one of the suspects.   As a result, the court refused to commit the one remaining suspect for the killing of Jay.  Two men subsequently stood trial for ABH and affray in relation to the assault on Michael and were acquitted.    The Judge ruled that the jury were not allowed to know what happened to Jay.   When Michael  gave evidence, he was not allowed to say that as he was being hit he had already seen that they had attacked his brother and he was lying injured on the ground.  As soon as they stopped kicking and punching Michael,  he went to his brother’s aid and began trying to resuscitate him rather than focusing on the men and where they had gone.  

Twenty five years on, nobody has been successfully prosecuted for Jay's death.    We are still no clearer about how many serving police officers were present with the group the night of the attack and in the aftermath.   


Jimmy Abayomi Abatan, known as Jay, was born in Lewisham in 1956 to Michael Abatan, an electrical engineer from Nigeria and Susan Abatan, a bilingual secretary from Kent.  

On Saturday 23rd January 1999, Jay, then  42 years old, a tax specialist with Price Waterhouse Coopers, went out for the night with his brother  Michael and a group of friends to celebrate a promotion at work.

After going to Ocean Rooms nightclub in Brighton, they went to the taxi rank on Grand Parade.

There he was subjected to an attack that he was unprepared for and as a result suffered life-ending injuries.     He was kicked and punched until he was unconscious on the floor with a fractured eye socket and fractured skull.   

He was taken by ambulance to the hospital and I went with him.   He never regained consciousness and was placed on life support.   He had a significant brain injury that resulted in his death on Friday 29th January 1999.  

Campaign for Justice

The Abatan family, led by Jay's brother Michael, have been fighting for justice ever since and strongly believe there has been a police cover up. This fundraiser is being administered by BARAC UK, on behalf of the Abatan  family and Justice 4 Jay campaign  to raise funds for a legal challenge. Twenty five years is too long for anyone to have to fight for justice.

Please support Justice 4 Jay by donating.

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