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Man accused of shooting Sergeant Matt Ratana appears at the Old Bailey

The defendant in court and Sgt Matt Ratana

Louis De Zoya, charged with the murder of Sergeant Matt Ratana, appeared at the Old Bailey today

A man accused of shooting Sergeant Matt Ratana at a police station in Croydon has appeared at crown court.  

Louis de Zoysa, 23, allegedly fired four bullets in a holding cell at a custody centre in south London, on September 25 last year.  

The first shot hit Sgt Ratana in the chest, fatally wounding the officer. He was also hit in the leg.  

De Zoysa also received a life-threatening bullet injury during the incident.  

He has been in hospital under police guard since the killing, but was charged with murder last week.  

The defendant appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court via video link from his hospital bed on Wednesday.  

He did not speak and instead used a whiteboard to write his name and date of birth.  

Today de Zoysa appeared at the Old Bailey, again via video link, but was sitting up in a chair, flanked by medical workers.  

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of lawyer Haroon Shah (left) and Louis de Zoysa, 23, who is accused of shooting custody officer Sergeant Matt Ratana, appearing at Westminster Magistrates? Court by video-link on Wednesday, from his hospital bed. Picture date: Wednesday June 30, 2021. PA Photo. De Zoysa, is accused of shooting the custody officer in the chest as he fired four times during a search at Croydon Custody Centre in the early hours of September 25 2020. De Zoysa, who was handcuffed at the time, also shot himself and has been in hospital under police guard since the alleged killing. See PA story COURTS Croydon. Photo credit should read: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

A court sketch of lawyer Haroon Shah (left) and Louis de Zoysa appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court by video-link on Wednesday, from his hospital bed. Picture: Elizabeth Cook/ PA)

The case has been listed for a plea hearing on September 17 by Judge Mark Lucraft, Recorder of London.  

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

The officer was rushed to St George’s Hospital but could not be saved and was pronounced dead.  

The decision to charge the defendant was made after recent changes to his medical condition, Scotland Yard said. 

Sgt Ratana was described as a ‘gentle giant’ by his partner, Su Bushby (Picture: EPA)

Following his death, Sgt Ratana’s partner of five years, Su Bushby, described him as a ‘gentle giant’.  

‘He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.  

‘Matt will always be in my head and in my heart.’  

Prince William visited the police station to pay his respects to Sgt Ratana to lay a wreath in his memory.  

He placed the floral tribute at a memorial bench erected at the custody centre.  

The Duke of Cambridge also met Ms Bushby privately and shared a moment of reflection with grieving colleagues.  

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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