30 October 2023

Matt Ratana’s partner tells inquest of grief as paramedics describe ‘carnage’

30 October 2023

The partner of a Metropolitan Police sergeant murdered in a custody cell has told of her grief at an inquest into his death, as paramedics described the “carnage” after he was shot.

Matt Ratana was killed on September 25 2020 by Louis de Zoysa, 26, who opened fire with a revolver at Croydon custody suite in south London.

De Zoysa had earlier been arrested and searched but officers failed to find the gun that he was carrying.

He shot Sgt Ratana before shooting himself in the neck, causing an irreversible brain injury that has left him unable to speak.

Sgt Ratana’s partner of five years, Su Bushby, told an inquest at Croydon town hall on Monday: “My life changed forever.

“Hearing of his death ripped through my body and I was overwhelmed with grief.”

She went on: “It has left me in a state of limbo, I’ve not been able to get on with my life.”

The inquest heard Sgt Ratana’s murder left Ms Bushby with “insomnia, anxiety and depression” and that she misses him “more than words can express”.

Ms Bushby also said: “My pain was indescribable, it just wasn’t fair.”

An emergency ambulance worker who arrived at the scene, said in a written statement read to the inquest there was a “desperate battle” to keep Sgt Ratana alive.

The statement went on: “It was quite simply a scene of carnage.”

Ambulance workers attempted to treat the officer after discovering he had no electrical activity in his heart.

Another paramedic said in a written statement Sgt Ratana’s gunshot wound was “oozing blood”, and the inquest heard a helicopter ambulance was dispatched.

His time of death was recorded at 4.10am, the inquest heard.

It came after Imran Khan KC, for De Zoysa, unsuccessfully argued to adjourn the hearing because the 26-year-old had been denied legal funding.

He told senior coroner Sarah Ormond-Walshe the gunman is only able to communicate using a whiteboard and has mobility problems, and can not effectively participate in the hearing.

De Zoysa is serving a whole life jail term for Mr Ratana’s murder after a trial earlier this year, during which his legal team argued that he was suffering an autistic meltdown at the time of the shooting.

The three-week inquest continues on Tuesday.

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