Matt Ratana: Man charged with murder of sergeant shot in police station

Sgt Matt Ratana, who was the “centrepiece of community policing” in Hackney for many years

Sgt Matt Ratana, who was the “centrepiece of community policing” in Hackney for many years - Credit: Met Police

A man has been charged with the murder of Matt Ratana, who was shot dead at Croydon Custody Centre last September. 

Louis de Zoysa, 23, of Park Road, Banstead, Surrey has also been charged with possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition according to Scotland Yard.

Sgt Ratana, 54, who was working as a custody sergeant, died of his injuries in the early hours of September 25.

Since the incident, de Zoysa has remained in hospital under police guard in a stable, non-life threatening condition.

Police have been in close liaison with his medical team and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for the past nine months.


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Recent changes to de Zoysa's condition and a charging decision by the CPS have resulted in him being charged with murder and the other offences this afternoon (June 29), they said.

He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (June 30) via video link.

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A spokesperson for the Met said: "We have updated Matt’s partner and son on this significant development."

Sgt Ratana joined the Met in 1991, and came to work in Hackney 20 years later, where he initially joined the response team before working in neighbourhoods for five years.

Hackney police described him as having been the “centrepiece of community policing” in Hackney for many years.

Paying tribute to him at his funeral in November, Met Police chief Dame Cressida Dick paid tribute to Sgt Matt Ratana’s “lovely nature and his big, generous, lion’s heart”.

She described how Matt, who hailed from New Zealand, “wasn’t always orthodox in his methods”.

She said: “He and his bronze commander (once) found themselves in a - technical term – a pickle. Isolated, facing an increasingly angry crowd during a difficult protest.

"Matt unceremoniously picked the commander up and placed her behind him, he then launched into a Haka, thereby both amazing and distracting the crowd and diffusing the situation sufficiently to allow a reasonably dignified hasty retreat.”

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