Su Bushby paid tribute to Met sergeant who was ‘my partner, friend, confidant, and soul mate’

The partner of Matiu Ratana, the police officer who was killed at a south London station, has paid tribute to the man she described as a “gentle giant” who had touched many lives.

“There aren’t really any words for how I am feeling right now about the loss of Matt; about losing someone I loved and was so close to in such a tragic manner,” said Su Bushby, who was in a relationship with the Metropolitan police sergeant for five years.

“I know Matt touched many, many people’s lives with his friendliness, patience, kindness, enthusiasm and caring ways,” she added in a statement issued through the Metropolitan police.

“I had the pleasure of sharing five years of my life with this lovely man – my gentle giant, with his infectious smile and big heart. I think of him with tenderness and love.

“Matt was my partner, friend, confidant, support and soul mate. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Matt will always be in my head and in my heart.”

Ratana, originally from Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand, came to London in 1989, two years before joining the force. A former professional rugby player who was nearing retirement from the police, he had also been head coach at East Grinstead rugby club.

The tribute came as a minute’s silence was held in the House of Commons and a string of community leaders and charity leaders in Croydon paid tribute to him in a video shared on social media on Monday.

The home secretary, Priti Patel, said she will introduce a police covenant to enshrine support for officers and their families into law.

She told MPs: “I will continue to do everything in my power to protect them including spearheading work to double sentences for attacks on emergency workers and also legislating to introduce a police covenant to enshrine support for our officers and their families in law.”

No police firearms were discharged in the incident, and the case is not being treated as terror-related. A second man has also been arrested in Norwich, Norfolk on suspicion of supplying a firearm.

The suspect in the shooting is 23-year-old Louis de Zoysa, sources have told the Guardian. He remains in hospital in a critical condition.


News – ‘My gentle giant’: Matiu Ratana’s partner says policeman shot dead touched many lives