A SENIOR coroner is to request an urgent meeting with Sussex Police to discuss the growing mental health crisis among young people in the city.

Sarah Clarke, assistant coroner for Brighton and Hove, said she will be contacting the police after concluding that Jon Nsangue took his own life after suffering years of mental health issues.

The talented Brighton rugby player was found dead the morning after his 21st birthday.

It comes just days after an inquest into the death of former Roedean girl Cherry Oh Tenquist concluded that the “highly intelligent” 18-year-old had been in the grip of serious mental health issues prior to her death last September.

During the inquest into Jon's the death, the court heard the talented videographer had been out celebrating his birthday with friends at Brighton Revolution and Shoosh clubs  in August 2021.

The coroner said a friend took him home in the early hours of August 22 by car but an off-duty police officer later spotted him in the central reservation of Lewes Road after he had been disrupting traffic.

Two on-duty officers attended to him before returning the 21-year-old to his home in The Avenue, Brighton, shortly after 5am.

The court was also told that while the officers did not believe he was displaying any signs of mental health issues at the time, they made an official referral to mental health services for him.

One minute after police left, the court heard, CCTV footage captured Jon walking to woodland at Jacob’s Ladder, near Manton Road, where he took his own life.

The court heard there was a discrepancy as to how long the police waited before leaving the area.

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. They 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.

The force referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct because of the contact with officers prior to the death.

Mrs Clarke told the inquest: “It is very difficult … hindsight is a wonderful thing. It is not my place to make judgement on the officers. What I do want to do is meet with Sussex Police and speak to them about the impact of mental health on young people in Brighton. There is a large population of young people in Brighton.”

She said she will be writing to a senior investigating officer in the force, adding: “I think this would be best done outside the inquest process.”