Matt Ratana death: Man who fatally shot police officer while handcuffed jailed for life

A man who shot dead a Metropolitan Police custody sergeant after smuggling a gun into a holding cell has been handed a whole life jail sentence.

Louis De Zoysa was convicted of Sergeant Matt Ratana’s murder in June – and it is believed he had concealed the antique revolver and holster under his armpit.

Jurors were shown distressing CCTV footage of the 26-year-old gun fanatic using the legally-bought gun to shoot Sgt Ratana.

Northampton Crown Court was told that he deliberately fired the weapon without warning into the 54-year-old’s chest, causing a fatal wound to his heart and lung. He later died in hospital

Louis De Zoysa being put into a police van.

Image: Louis De Zoysa being put into a police van.

De Zoysa was handcuffed at the time, and suffered brain damage after one of the shots fired hit him in the neck.

He had claimed diminished responsibility but was found guilty after a jury decided he pulled the antique weapon’s trigger deliberately to fire homemade bullets, and had not suffered an autistic meltdown.

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CCTV footage suggests he managed to retrieve the weapon with his right hand about 16 minutes before the shooting – and used a vent at the back of his overcoat to hide the gun until the attack.

A total of four shots were fired within 20 seconds within a custody block in Croydon, south London, in the early hours of 25 September 2020.

Sergeant Matt Ratana

Image: Sergeant Matt Ratana

Sgt Ratana had worked in policing for 30 years, and was close to retirement.

Sentencing De Zoysa, Mr Justice Jeremy Johnson told the 26-year-old: “You acted in cold blood. You intended to kill Sergeant Ratana.

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Killer of Met Sergeant Matt Ratana sentenced to life in prison.

“You aimed the gun at his chest at near point-blank range. Even as he fell you re-aimed and fired a second shot at him.

“The aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating factors. There is therefore no justification to depart from the starting point of a whole life order.”

De Zoysa showed no obvious reaction as he was told he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Sgt Ratana’s partner Su Bushby said: “Losing Matt, my partner for five years, is the most devastating event that has happened to me in my life.

“Not a day goes by, when I don’t think of him; miss his smile, his humour, his laughter and his wonderful kind personality.

She added: “Whilst the court proceedings will never bring my Matt home to me, knowing that his cowardly killer has been brought to justice makes me feel that there is some closure on the events of that terrible morning of the 25th of September 2020.”

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