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Popular landlord found dead just days after pub brawl arrest
A community has been left “devastated” by the death of a popular pub landlord.
Declan Mongey, of The Plough Inn, Rottingdean, was found dead on a beach near Saltdean Lido early on Saturday morning just days after he was arrested in connection with a Boxing Day brawl at his pub.
Police said there were no suspicious circumstances linked to his death.
Mr Mongey, 43, took over The Plough three years ago, running it with his partner Karl Baker as part of the Golden Lion Group.
The pub won the Business in the Community prize at this year’s Argus Achievement Awards.
Mr Mongey spoke of building up a community feel, and supporting events like Smugglers Night and the Rottingdean Boxing Day Pub Challenge event.
Leo Day, director of the Golden Lion Group, said he, alongside family and friends, believe Mr Mongey was innocent of any crime.
He said: “From the point of view of Karl, Declan’s partner, all his friends and family out in Rottingdean, and myself and the Golden Lion Group, we are devastated by the loss of a wonderful man, as is the whole community of Rottingdean.”
On Wednesday the pub hosted Rottingdean’s traditional Boxing Day challenge, with games and a hog roast.
But in the evening Mr Mongey cleared the pub after a fight broke out involving up to 20 people.
A 52-year-old woman from Saltdean broke her right arm in two places and needed surgery at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
On Thursday police arrested Mr Mongey in connection with the incident.
Later that day he was told he would be released on bail without charge until Monday, February 11.
Police on Friday appealed publicly for witnesses to help explain how the woman was injured.
Friends said that, following his release, Mr Mongey was upset and concerned about the publicity the allegation could attract. Sussex Police said he went out at about 7am on Saturday.
He was found on the shore by a dog-walker at about 8.30am. His body had been in the sea and may have washed up.
Officers investigating the circum- stances say the death was not suspicious. Police believe the case may have been suicide.
Philip Rees, chairman of the Rottingdean Trade Business and Professional Association, spoke of regret at Mr Mongey’s “tragic and untimely death”.
Sussex Police said they would inform the Independent Police Complaints Commission of Mr Mongey’s death because it happened so soon after he was in contact with the force.
Officers want people who saw Mr Mongey before he died on Saturday morning to call them.
Anyone who may have seen Mr Mongey in the undercliff area between 7am and 8.30am is asked to call Sussex Police on 101, quoting serial 344 of December 29.
Contact Ben Parsons on 01273 544 520 or email email@example.com with your tributes.