Man accused of killing Croydon police sergeant denies murder

The man accused of shooting Police Sergeant Matt Ratana dead in a Croydon police station yesterday entered a not guilty plea.

Not guilty plea: the court artist’s rendition of de Zoysa in his appearance yesterday

Sgt Ratana, 54, was shot in the chest as a handcuffed suspect was being taken into custody at Windmill Road custody centre on September 25, 2020.

Louis De Zoysa, from Banstead, has been in hospital after being shot in the neck during the incident.

It was nearly two months after the incident that De Zoysa was arrested for the shooting while in a hospital bed.

New Zealand-born Ratana had 30 years’ service with the Met and was just weeks away from retirement when the fatal shooting happened.

He was described as a “talented officer” who was “big in heart”. He was well known for his community policing work in Selhurst, and as a rugby player and coach with local clubs.

Yesterday De Zoysa, 25, currently a patient at a brain injury hospital in Northampton, appeared at Northampton Crown Court via video link.

He was in a wheelchair, his right arm in a sling and he received assistance.

He entered his plea by holding up a whiteboard with the words “Not guilty” written on it.

A trial date was set for June 6, to take place in Northampton.

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