UK & World News

  • 8 April 2014, 16:45

Lee Rigby Murderer Appeals Life Sentence

One of the men who murdered soldier Lee Rigby has launched an appeal against his whole-life prison term.

Michael Adebolajo was sentenced to die behind bars, while accomplice Michael Adebowale was jailed for life with a minimum term of 45 years.

The pair were sentenced by Mr Justice Sweeney at the Old Bailey for killing the 25-year-old father of one near Woolwich Barracks in  London on May 22 last year.

Explaining his decision to give Adebolajo a whole-life term, the judge said the 29-year-old had "no real prospect of rehabilitation".

At the time the sentences were passed, relatives of Fusilier Rigby said "justice has been served".

Now Adebolajo is seeking to have the sentence cut.

Leading judges at the Court of Appeal recently ruled that murderers who commit the most "heinous" of crimes can be sent to prison for the rest of their lives.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas said the court had held that it was "entirely compatible" with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Sentencing in a number of high-profile criminal cases, including the terms to be handed out to Fusilier Rigby's murderers, was put on hold pending the ruling in February.

The ruling followed a successful appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) by murderers Jeremy Bamber, Douglas Vinter and Peter Moore.

Those currently serving whole-life terms in England and Wales include Moors Murderer Ian Brady, who tortured and murdered children along with accomplice Myra Hindley, and serial killer Rosemary West.

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