A MAN who was injured in a fight in a public square died less than a year later after his head injury caused his life to spiral out of control, an inquest heard.

Following the injury in Bartholomew Square, Brighton, last August, Mark Packham became increasingly anxious about being hurt again, suffered severe memory loss and drifted in and out of sleeping rough.

The 30-year-old, who had a history of violent offending, alcoholism and mental health problems, was then attacked again while sleeping on the streets in London, his inquest at Woodvale Coroner's Court heard.

Yesterday friends and family said he had been failed by authorities after his inquest heard how he died suddenly, alone in unsupported accommodation in Hove, despite regular concerns about his ability to cope.

Dr Tim Worthley, who looks after Brighton's homeless community, said the pressure on housing in Brighton often meant that people who were vulnerable but also displayed anti-social behaviour ended up in risky environments.

He said the injury made it "impossible for him [Mr Packham] to manage in an unsupported environment," adding "Lots of care professionals were raising concerns".

Ex-partner Nicola Hensby, 33, told The Argus: "They failed him. They should never have let him leave the hospital. It is heartbreaking; only last night my daughter was saying, when is dad coming home?"

Describing how he changed following the injury last August, she told the inquest: "He went from being a working provider, he was not the same person. He went from someone I knew to someone I did not know.

"Instead of calling our daughter's name he would click his fingers to get her attention as he could not remember her name."

The inquest was read a letter from mental health liaison nurse Gemma Grist to Dr Worthley in February, expressing concern that Mr Packham was not being properly supported in the community and might not be able to cope given his memory problems.

He was found dead in bed in his bedsit in Seafield Road, Hove, on March 30, five days after he had last been seen by friends.

A belt and needle were in the room but toxicology results did not conclude he had died from drugs.

The inquest found his cause of death was unascertained, listing the head injuries as a contributory factor.

It heard he had been getting help from the charity Justlife Brighton, which helps single homeless people.

In August, barman Dwayne Backer, 25, of Sydney Road, Feltham, Middlesex, was acquitted at trial over the injury to Mr Packham in Bartholomew Square last year, after claiming self-defence.

Detective Superintendent Chris Lane told the inquest Sussex Police were satisfied the head injury did not directly lead to his death.

The attack in London was not investigated by London's Met police, despite Mr Packham reporting it.