Murder trial jury sees video of moment Sgt Ratana was shot

Jurors at a murder trial yesterday were shown video of the moment when, while in the Croydon Custody Centre in September 2020, a man under arrest, with his hands handcuffed behind his back and in the presence of two other police officers, managed to fire a gun four times, killing Sgt Mat Ratana.

In camera: the moment Louis De Zoysa was arrested on London Road in September 2020, caught on body cam video which was shown to the court

Louis De Zoysa, 25, from Banstead, denies the murder of the veteran police sergeant, who was just weeks away from retirement when the incident happened.

De Zoysa had purchased the antique pistol a couple of months earlier, the court heard, and on the fateful night he had it hidden under his armpit, undetected by the officers who had arrested and searched him.

De Zoysa fired four times in the custody cell. Two bullets hit Ratana at point-blank range, one in the chest, the other in his leg. Another was discharged into a wall and with the fourth, he caused himself life-changing injuries.

De Zoysa has been attending the murder trial at Northampton Crown Court in a wheelchair, his arm in a sling, responding to questions using a whiteboard, as he claims to have suffered brain damage as a consequence of his injuries.

As well as the custody centre CCTV, the jury was also shown body-cam footage and audio from De Zoysa’s arrest earlier that evening in Croydon.

Using blank cartridges, jurors were also given the opportunity of firing the gun that it is alleged was used that night.

“Louis De Zoysa pulled the trigger on purpose four times,” Duncan Penny KC, prosecuting, told the court.

Penny told the jury that De Zoysa bought the antique gun at an auction in June 2020, that it was legal to own, and that the accused had made his own bullets because ammunition for it was no longer available.

Officers who arrested and searched De Zoysa earlier in the day “did not find” he was carrying a loaded revolver in a holster, the court heard.

“The prosecution say Louis De Zoysa pointed his gun at Sgt Ratana”, and that he “pulled the trigger on purpose twice when he was pointing the gun at Sgt Ratana”.

Penny added: “There is CCTV footage and other video of what happened.

“The video and the audio shows Louis De Zoysa killing Matthew Ratana.”

Victim: Sgt Matt Ratana

On the opening day of the case on Tuesday, the court heard the fourth shot had hit De Zoysa in the neck, causing him brain damage.

The prosecution opened their case by recounting the events that led up to the shooting.

The jury was told that De Zoysa was walking along London Road, Norbury, on Friday, September 25, 2020, when he stopped and searched by officers on the street and handcuffed.

“The police officers found that Louis De Zoysa was carrying cannabis and seven rounds of ammunition, but the police officers did not find that Louis De Zoysa was carrying a loaded revolver in a holster.

“The gun and holster were probably concealed under one of his armpits,” the court was told

De Zoysa was taken to the custody centre on Windmill Road and put in a holding room. All this time, De Zoysa remained in handcuffs.

Penny told jurors, “Louis De Zoysa kept the gun hidden and was able to point the gun at Sgt Ratana.

“He deliberately shot Sgt Ratana, once to the chest, at very close range. He did not give a warning.”

The court heard the other officers present were not able to stop De Zoysa, and the shot caused a fatal injury to Sgt Ratana’s left lung and heart. The prosecution says this was “deliberate”.

“The second shot was another deliberate shot at Sgt Ratana.” That hit the officer in the leg.

The prosecution told the court De Zoysa “must have been able to get hold of the gun after he was arrested and before he left the police van”.

The case continues.

  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at
  • As featured on Google News Showcase
  • Our comments section on every report provides all readers with an immediate “right of reply” on all our content
  • ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named among the country’s rottenest boroughs for a SIXTH successive year in 2022 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Crime, Norbury, Policing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Murder trial jury sees video of moment Sgt Ratana was shot

  1. Sally says:

    How did this person buy a gun without a licence?

    When they throw away the key, I hope they throw it long and far…

    Tragic end to the life of a person who served his community to the very end.

    • It was bought as an antique at an auction. It was an object d’art, not a functioning weapon, so didn’t require a licence. De Zoysa made his own bullets.

      On a matter of housekeeping, Sally: please include your surname with all future comments.
      We don’t allow anonymous commenters. Thanks

Leave a Reply