Man denies murder of police officer shot dead on duty | UK News

Louis De Zoysa, 25, entered his not guilty plea at Northampton Crown Court (Image: PA/SWNS)

Louis De Zoysa, 25, entered his not guilty plea at Northampton Crown Court (Image: PA/SWNS)

A man has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matiu Ratana during a shooting in South London.

Louis De Zoysa, of Banstead, Surrey, has denied killing Sgt Ratana during a hearing at Northampton Crown Court.

Sgt Ratana, aged 54, died on September 25, 2020 after suffering gunshot wounds at Croydon Detention Center in south London.

De Zoysa is believed to have smuggled a revolver into the building, which he used to commit the crime.

De Zoysa fired four times and one bullet hit Sergeant Ratana in the chest while he was searching the suspect.

Sgt Ratana – who has served with the Met since 1991 – was the first British officer ever to be killed in a police station.

The New Zealand-born officer was just two months away from retirement.

After the shooting, De Zoysa, from Banstead, Surrey, shot himself in the neck and was fighting for his life with brain damage, the court heard.

He is currently a patient at nearby St Andrews Healthcare, a brain injury hospital.

De Zoysa, who appeared on the video link in a wheelchair and with his right arm in a sling, was assisted by an intermediary and entered his plea by holding up a plaque that read “Not Guilty.”

In the days after his death, then-Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick described Sgt. Ratana as a “talented officer” who had “a big heart.”

“Matt spent almost 30 years serving the London public as a uniformed police officer,” said Dame Cressida.

“He will be remembered so fondly at Croydon and will be missed there, as will the Met and the rugby world,” she added.

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Justin Scaccy

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