Man accused of killing Sgt Matt Ratana appears at the Old Bailey

·2-min read

A man accused of shooting Sergeant Matt Ratana while handcuffed in a police station has made his first appearance at crown court.

Louis de Zoysa, 23, is accused of discharging four bullets in a holding cell at Croydon Custody Centre in the early hours of September 25 2020.

The first shot hit Sgt Ratana in the chest, causing a fatal wound, while he was also hit in the leg.

De Zoysa also received a life-threatening bullet injury during the incident and has been in hospital under police guard since the killing, but was charged with the murder last Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, de Zoysa appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court via video link from his hospital bed and used a whiteboard to show his name and date of birth rather than speaking.

A general view of the Central Criminal Court in the Old Bailey, London (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)
A general view of the Central Criminal Court in the Old Bailey, London (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

On Friday he appeared at the Old Bailey, again by video link, but was sitting up in a chair flanked by two medical workers.

Judge Mark Lucraft, the Recorder of London, listed the case for a plea hearing on September 17.

The court heard New Zealand-born Sgt Ratana was allegedly shot and killed by De Zoysa after he was arrested following a stop and search in Norwood, south London.

Sgt Ratana was taken to St George’s Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, while De Zoysa survived after he was treated by officers and London Ambulance staff.

Scotland Yard said the decision to charge De Zoysa was made after recent changes to his medical condition.

Judge Lucraft refused De Zoysa bail, remarking that he would be held in prison until the end of the case if he were to become well enough to be discharged from hospital.