…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
The jury has begun deliberating in the trial of a gunman accused of murdering a Metropolitan Police sergeant using an antique revolver that was smuggled into a custody center in south London.
The defense team argues that the accused, Louis De Zoysa, who claims he did not intend to shoot Sgt Matt Ratana, should be partially held responsible due to diminished responsibility caused by an “autistic meltdown.”
The jury at Northampton Crown Court was presented with evidence that Sgt Ratana, 54, died from two bullet wounds sustained at the Windmill Road custody block in Croydon on September 25, 2020.
Defense’s Plea to Consider Diminished Responsibility:
Louis De Zoysa, from Banstead, Surrey, denies the murder charge while being handcuffed in a holding room, even after bullets were found on his person by street patrol members.
Before the jury retired, Imran Khan KC, the defense lawyer, implored them to view the evidence through De Zoysa’s perspective, emphasizing the need to consider his state of mind during the incident.
Khan described CCTV footage of the shooting as perplexing and suggested that De Zoysa was experiencing a meltdown, thus lacking logical reasoning or control over his actions.
A Desperate Need for Explanation:
The defense argued that the events captured on CCTV demand an explanation as they appear devoid of any rational or sane motive.
Khan contended that De Zoysa was completely out of control and irrational during the incident.
He emphasized that no other explanation makes sense, and the prosecution failed to provide an alternative one.
According to the defense, De Zoysa’s behavior can only be explained as a result of a meltdown.
Challenging the Prosecution’s Narrative:
In contrast to the defense’s suggested scenario, Khan challenged the proposition that an autistic young man, surrounded by three police officers in a cell, would have had the intent to commit murder in the middle of the night.
He highlighted the lack of a plausible motive and questioned the feasibility of an escape plan, further undermining the prosecution’s narrative.
The jury, comprised of seven men and five women, has retired to deliberate on the verdict in the trial of Louis De Zoysa.
The defense’s argument revolves around the concept of diminished responsibility due to an alleged autistic meltdown.
The defense lawyer urged the jury not to rush their decision, emphasizing the need for careful consideration.
The verdict will ultimately determine De Zoysa’s culpability in the tragic killing of Sgt Matt Ratana.