A TALENTED rugby player who was found dead the morning after his 21st birthday took his own life after suffering years of mental health issues, an inquest has been told.
Jon Nsangue had struggled with his mental health since he was nine years old but had given no indication he would take his own life, the court heard.
However, an inquest into his death heard that he had been “hit hard” by the pandemic. He was found dead by a dog walker in the early hours of August 22 last year after celebrating with friends in Brighton nightclubs.
A toxicology report concluded that Jon, who played for Brighton Rugby Club, had 138 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood in his system at the time of his death, indicating “moderate intoxication”.
It also emerged at the inquest that the talented videographer had been accused of sexual assault while working as a security guard at Brighton Revolution, although the court heard no further action was to have been taken against him.
Shortly before his death, he had been picked up by two police officers in Lewes Road before they returned him to his home in The Avenue, Brighton.
Only a minute after the officers left the area, Jon walked to woodland at Jacob’s Ladder, near Manton Road, and took his own life.
Under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983, police have emergency powers if they believe a person has a mental disorder, is in a public place and needs immediate help. In such instances, police have the power to take the person to a place of safety, where their mental health will be assessed.
The inquest heard that several of Jon’s friends believed police should have exercised these powers when they found him in Lewes Road.
Sarah Clarke, assistant coroner for Brighton and Hove, said the force had referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct following the incident.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “This was referred to the IOPC as a matter of course owing to the prior police contact.
“There was no misconduct matter identified for any officers involved, therefore it was filed with no further action.”
The court also heard that Jon had been working for a music production company and with rapper ArrDee in Brighton.
In a written statement, his mother Johana Riquier said the rapper’s manager had been “abusive” to her son and she believed the music production company was taking advantage of him as he was not being paid while working for them.
Jon’s father Simon, who attended the inquest remotely from Paris, said he hoped more could be done in the future to assist young people with mental health issues.
In messages sent to his mother and friends shortly before he died, Jon said he “loved them all”.
In one text to a friend he wrote: “You know how a man feels but I really just CBA … I don’t rate this world. Just know that I love you FR.”
An Instagram post written by his mother following his death was inundated with hundreds of people commenting and paying their respects.
Among the well-wishers was ArrDee, who said: “Clean hearted brother. Rest in paradise Jon.”
Ms Riquier posted an emotional statement on Facebook expressing her gratitude to those who had sent messages of support, while Brighton Rugby Club issued a statement remembering their teammate.
It read: “Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Jon was born in Paris and had divided his time between France and the UK after his parents split up.
The inquest was told that his mother, who lives in Hove, had been in an abusive relationship between 2010 and 2014 and this had affected her son.
She said they had a very close bond and she had become concerned about the direction his life was taking.
Jon had been studying for a hospitality qualification at City College and was due to return to the college on a media course in late 2021.
In her conclusion, Sarah Clarke, assistant coroner for Brighton and Hove, said she was satisfied that Jon intended to take his own life.
Mrs Clarke told the inquest she is to contact Sussex Police and request an urgent meeting to discuss the impact of mental health in young people across Brighton.