Matt Ratana: Struggle after fatal police cell shooting 'showed bullet being fired into wall'

Sergeant Matt Ratana
Artists impression of Louis De Zoysa and Sergeant Matt Ratana Credit: PA

The jury trying Louis De Zoysa was shown footage of a struggle following the fatal shooting of Sergeant Matt Ratana which saw a bullet strike a wall, a revolver being kicked away and a Taser being drawn and fired.

Prosecutors allege De Zoysa, 25, of Banstead, Surrey, made bullets for an antique revolver which he concealed in a holster and “got hold of” after he was arrested, handcuffed and put in a police van.

Commenting on footage of the fatal shooting of Mr Ratana, who was shot in the chest inside a custody block holding cell in Croydon, south London, prosecutor Duncan Penny KC submitted that De Zoysa knew he was using a gun which worked.

Part-way through his opening speech to a jury at Northampton Crown Court, Mr Penny said the footage showed that De Zoysa stood up, twisted his body round to the right and brought his hands from behind his back to his right side in one movement.

Sergeant Matt Ratana Credit: Met Police

Mr Penny told the court: “Louis De Zoysa was holding the gun in his right hand. He fired the gun directly at the chest of Sergeant Ratana.”

A second shot, fired a second after the first shot, hit Sgt Ratana in the leg but was not the fatal wound, the court heard.

Moments after the fatal first round was fired, Mr Penny said, another police officer was continuing to pull De Zoysa backwards.

The Crown’s barrister added: “At the time, the gun was in Louis De Zoysa’s right hand. At the same time, Louis De Zoysa’s right hand was lifted up towards the right side of Louis De Zoysa’s head.

“The actions of Louis De Zoysa and (the male officer struggling with him) both affected where the gun was pointing. Their actions combined to make the gun point up towards the left wall of the cell.

“As the gun was raised, Louis De Zoysa fired the gun a third time. The shot hit the left wall of the cell.”

The first and second shots hit Sgt Ratana and killed him. Credit: Met Police

Mr Penny said the male officer then wrestled De Zoysa to the ground while a female officer took hold of her taser and tried to fire it twice.

In the 16 seconds after the shot hit the wall, the jury was told, De Zoysa was on the floor on his left side – with his gun underneath him.

A muffled bang was then heard, which the prosecution say was the fourth shot which caused the injuries to De Zoysa.

Mr Penny said: “Any electrical charge from the taser cannot have caused Louis De Zoysa to fire the fourth shot because the gunshot can be heard before the taser.”

De Zoysa denies murder and the trial continues.

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