…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
On the second day of the murder trial of Louis De Zoysa, a ballistics expert provided a demonstration to the jury on how an antique revolver, believed to have been used in the killing of Metropolitan Police custody sergeant Matt Ratana, operated.
The incident took place on September 25, 2020, at a custody block in Croydon, south London, while Sergeant Ratana was handcuffed.
As part of the demonstration at Northampton Crown Court, members of the jury were allowed to handle and fire the gun, which was loaded with dummy bullets.
To ensure safety, the gun was fired towards the ceiling.
The expert witness, Anthony Miller, a forensic scientist specializing in ballistics, examined the revolver and the recovered ammunition from the scene.
During his examination, he subjected the weapon to various tests, such as dropping it on the ground and striking it with a cloth-faced hammer, to assess its robustness.
In order to accommodate De Zoysa, who sustained brain damage from a bullet that struck his neck during the incident, Miller presented his findings using concise and straightforward language.
According to the prosecution, De Zoysa deliberately pulled the trigger four times while he was restrained in a holding room at the custody center.
The first two shots struck Sergeant Ratana, the third hit the wall during a struggle with officers, and the fourth injured De Zoysa himself.
The prosecution claims that De Zoysa concealed the gun and holster, possibly under one of his armpits.
Prior to the incident, De Zoysa had been arrested in Norbury, south London, in possession of cannabis and seven rounds of ammunition after a stop and search by officers.
Handcuffed and placed in the back of a police van, he was subsequently taken to the custody center.
De Zoysa, who sat in a wheelchair in the dock with an intermediary, pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder.
In defense of De Zoysa, Imran Khan KC informed the jury that at the time of the shooting, the defendant was experiencing an autistic meltdown and did not have the intention to kill or cause serious harm to Sergeant Ratana. The trial is ongoing.
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