UK & World News

  • 26 February 2014, 22:04

Lee Rigby's Family Says Justice Has Been Served

The family of Lee Rigby are "satisfied" with the sentences handed to his killers and believe they received the "right prison term".

Michael Adebolajo, 29, was given a whole-life term, and Michael Adebowale, 22, was jailed for at least 45 years for hacking the soldier to death in Woolwich last year.

In a statement read by a family liaison officer outside the Old Bailey after the sentencing, the family said: "We feel that no other sentence would have been acceptable and we would like to thank the judge and the courts for handing down what we believe to be the right prison terms.

"We would also like to thank everyone who has supported us in the last nine months.

"It has brought us a lot of comfort and we feel satisfied that justice has been served for Lee. We now ask to continue to grieve in private."

Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, who heads Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command, said the sentences reflected the "true horror of their actions in taking this young man's life in such a barbaric way".

Meanwhile, Sue Hemming of the Crown Prosecution Service said the murderers had "revelled in one of the most appalling terrorist murders" she had ever seen.

She said: "Not only was the attack brutal and calculated, it was also designed to advance extremist views. As a soldier, Fusilier Lee Rigby was targeted in a clear act of revenge, deliberately carried out in full view of members of the public for maximum impact."

As sentencing began, the two murderers shouted at the judge in protest at his remarks. 

They then fought with guards in the dock before they were pinned down and taken to the cells. Sentencing resumed without them.

The soldier's family were visibly distressed and sobbed at the developments and one relative needed medical treatment.

There were also dramatic scenes outside the Old Bailey as members of the public shouted at prison vans leaving the building.

Far right protesters had gathered outside the court calling for the killers to face the death penalty.

The British-born extremists ran Fusilier Rigby down in a car before hacking him to death in the street in front of horrified onlookers near Woolwich Barracks in southeast London in May last year.

They both claimed that they were "soldiers of Allah" and were motivated by the plight of Muslims abroad to carry out the killing, and have shown no remorse.

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