The owner of a well-known North Laine vintage clothes shop has been found dead.

Steve Pybus’ family have called for greater awareness around mental health issues after the death of the Dirty Harry shop owner.

Sussex Police discovered his body in a warehouse on Hollingdean Road January 2.

The police had been alerted by Mr Pybus’ family, who were concerned about his welfare.


His daughter Tessa Pybus said the tragedy happened just weeks before her 23rd birthday.

She and her mother have set up a Just Giving page in aid of Mind in Brighton and Hove so people can pay tribute to Mr Pybus and make a donation to the charity.

Mr Pybus opened the shop in Sydney Street, Brighton, 20 years ago after being inspired by a visit to the Canal Jeans store in New York. His shop went on to outlive Canal Jeans and became a world-famous landmark in its own right.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: “Police were called to a warehouse in Hollingdean Road, Brighton, at 10.50pm on Thursday January, 2 and found the body of a 61-year-old man.”

“The death is not being treated as suspicious and the coroner's officer is dealing.”

Miss Pybus said: “My dad knew everyone one and he was always fizzing with energy.

“I lived with him and I worked with him and that made us very close.

“He was obviously suffering, but there is still such a stigma around mental health issues that people won’t even tell those they love most that they are suffering.

“That’s why we want to get the message out that there is help that people can get.”

Brighton-based graffiti artist Eddie Stobart, Miss Pybus’s boyfriend and a good friend of Mr Pybus, said: “Depression can affect event the strongest characters. Steve has suffered for a number of years but we thought he was dealing with it.”

Shocked friends and customers took to social media to pay tribute to Mr Pybus.

On the Dirty Harry Facebook site Patrick Luck said: “Oh my God. I am so shocked and upset. Steve was part of my life for over 50 years since we were kids together. A truly clever man with a big heart.”

Colin Baldock said: “I’m very shocked and saddened by this news. I knew Steve for 20 years - he had so many great stories to tell and was full of positivity.”

On the Just Giving site Jak Hutchings wrote: “My thoughts are with you all. Your dad is responsible for me being the man I am today and I'm truly grateful for knowing him and for him giving me a chance. “ The site has so far raised £477.58. The funeral will take place at Woodvale Crematorium in Lewes Road on January 21.

Visit the Just Giving page at

If you are contemplating suicide you should call the Samaritans support service on 08457 90 90 90 or contact your GP.