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Jury sworn in to try man charged with Croydon police station murder

The Crown’s case against Louis De Zoysa is expected to open on Wednesday.


A jury has been sworn in to try a man accused of murdering Metropolitan Police sergeant Matt Ratana, who was shot inside a custody block in Croydon in 2020.

Louis De Zoysa, of Banstead, Surrey, pleaded not guilty to the charge during a previous hearing at Northampton Crown Court.

Mr Ratana, 54, died after suffering a fatal wound to the chest at Croydon custody centre in south London on September 25 2020.

Louis de Zoysa court case
Sgt Matt Ratana died in September 2020 (Metropolitan Police/PA)

De Zoysa appeared in court on Tuesday in a wheelchair and wrote on a whiteboard to confirm his name and date of birth.

Addressing members of the jury panel before they were selected and sworn in, trial judge Mr Justice Johnson told them: “The allegation in this case is murder.

“The defendant is Louis De Zoysa and he is the gentleman sitting in the middle in the dock.

“The allegation is that on the 25th of September 2020 Louis De Zoysa was in a holding cell in a custody suite in Croydon when he shot dead Matthew Ratana.

“Matthew Ratana was a police custody sergeant at that custody suite. Some of you may have seen press coverage at the time.”

During his initial remarks to the jury panel, the judge said De Zoysa is diagnosed as having autistic spectrum condition.

Prosecutors allege Mr Ratana was shot while 25-year-old De Zoysa was handcuffed, during an incident in which he also sustained a gunshot wound.

Before a jury of seven men and five women was sworn in, they were told the trial is expected to last for around three weeks, and asked if they had ever worked for the police or the Crown Prosecution Service.

They were also asked if they knew any of the police officers involved in the case or doctors who are potential witnesses.

The case is being prosecuted by Duncan Penny KC, who is expected to deliver the Crown’s opening address to the jury on Wednesday.

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