A street drinker whose death triggered a murder inquiry fatally injured himself while attacking a toilet attendant’s van, detectives now believe.

Alcoholic John Holloway died of a headwound the day after the confrontation in Brassey Avenue, Eastbourne, in September.

Sussex Police have dropped the murder inquiry and have passed their files to the East Sussex Coroner for an inquest to be held.

Mr Holloway, 46, of Malvern Close, Eastbourne, was well known in the area for sitting on benches outside public toilets by the Hampden Park station level crossing.

At about 7.30pm on Saturday, September 29, police were called to the spot and found him on the ground.

Mr Holloway was conscious at the time and was taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital with what were thought to be only minor injuries.

But his condition worsened and he died at Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre in Haywards Heath at 6.15pm on Sunday.

Sussex Police arrested a 48-year- old Polish cleaning contractor on suspicion of murder and released him on bail. They carried out house-to-house inquiries at dozens of homes.

A post-mortem showed that Mr Holloway had died of a head injury. But detectives now believe that Mr Holloway had become abusive when the toilet attendant arrived to close the toilets for the night.

As the attendant drove off, Mr Holloway is believed to have hurled himself at the side of his van, bounced off and banged his head on the pavement.

The man has been told that no further action will be taken.

Mr Holloway had been branded a “neighbour from hell” in 2006, when he was evicted from his former home in Ditchling Road, Brighton.

Then 39, he was jailed for 16 weeks for threatening neighbours.

People living nearby spoke of a seven-year hate campaign.

He had smashed windows and threatened to petrol bomb homes. He ordered food deliveries from takeaways, then took it from the delivery worker without paying and locked himself in his home.

He told one pensioner who had lung disease that he hoped he would have a heart attack.

At the time, he was said to be a heroin and crack cocaine addict as well as an alcoholic.

But in Eastbourne people had fonder memories. Shopkeeper Sid Charma described Mr Holloway as a fervent West Ham fan who was frequently so drunk he would fall over.

Mr Charma said: “He was a nice guy. He knew a lot of people and everyone knew him.”