Man Accused of Murdering UK Police Officer Could Face Hospital Hearing

By Chris Summers
Chris Summers
Chris Summers
Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist covering a wide range of national stories, with a particular interest in crime, policing and the law.
May 27, 2022 Updated: May 27, 2022

A man accused of murdering Sergeant Matt Ratana at a custody centre in south London in 2020 could face a “fitness to plea” hearing in hospital.

In the early hours of Sep. 25 2020 Louis De Zoysa, 24, allegedly fired four shots while handcuffed inside Croydon police station, two of which struck 54-year-old Ratana.

DeZoysa, who was severely injured in the incident, remains in hospital and there is a disagreement between the prosecution and defence teams about whether he is fit to face a trial.

DeZoysa has been charged with murder and nine other charges.

Fitness to plea hearings are held when there is a doubt about a defendant’s ability to follow proceedings, either due to their mental health or due to a physical impairment such as a brain injury.

Last year he was charged, in his hospital bed, with all ten counts and on Friday Judge Mark Lucraft QC heard from prosecutor Duncan Penny, QC, and defence lawyer Imran Khan, QC, about possible locations for the fitness to plea hearing.

Epoch Times Photo
Undated photo of Sergeant Matt Ratana, released by the police in London on June 30, 2021. (Metropolitan Police/PA Media).

The hearing at the Old Bailey heard the hearing may be held in the hospital where DeZoysa is being held, or alternatively in nearby Northampton Crown Court.

DeZoysa is accused of:

  • Murdering Ratana.
  • Possessing a .41 calibre Long Colt antique revolver and home-made .357 cartridges.
  • Possessing a .41 calibre Long Colt New Model Army & Navy antique revolver.
  • Possessing a .357 Magnum bullet.
  • Possessing seven .38 bullets.
  • Possessing a pipe-gun.
  • Possessing a dummy launcher.
  • Possessing an Umarex Python gas-firing revolver.
  • Possessing a Schmitt-Rubin antique infantry rifle with a shortened barrel.
  • Possessing ammunition.

Ratana’s funeral took place in Sussex in November 2020 and a wreath from Home Secretary Priti Patel and an All Blacks rugby shirt were delivered before he was privately cremated.

A tribute from his partner Su Bushby was read out, by a friend, in which she said: “Matt made the most of every minute of his precious 54 years. In any situation or room he walked into, his presence would always be felt. Like a big ball of energy.

“My life has been richer and funnier for knowing you and I feel blessed you were in my life,” she added.

A memorial service for Ratana, who was born in New Zealand, was held last year and was attended by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist covering a wide range of national stories, with a particular interest in crime, policing and the law.