UK & World News
Lee Rigby: Woolwich Killers Jailed For Life
One of Lee Rigby's killers has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in jail while the other got a minimum of 45 years.
The soldier's family said Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale had received the "right prison terms" adding: "We feel satisfied that justice has been served for Lee."
There were violent scenes in court, with the two murderers fighting with guards in the dock as the judge began his sentencing.
Adebolajo shouted at the judge and there was an outburst from Adebowale as they reacted angrily to comments Mr Justice Sweeney made about their extremist beliefs.
They were restrained and pinned down by several guards at the Old Bailey.
The pair were taken back down to the cells and Adebolajo could be heard screaming from downstairs.
Fusilier Rigby's family were visibly distressed, and one relative needed medical treatment.
The judge sentenced the killers in their absence from the courtroom, with Adebolajo, 29, given a whole-life term, and Adebowale, 22, jailed for at least 45 years.
Their attack began when they knocked down the 25-year-old soldier with a car. The father of one, who was wearing a "Help for Heroes" top, was hit from behind.
They then hacked him to death in what Mr Justice Sweeney described as a "bloodbath" near Woolwich barracks in southeast London last May.
They both claimed they were "soldiers of Allah" and were motivated by the plight of Muslims abroad to carry out the killing. They have shown no remorse.
Sentencing, the judge said: "You both exited the car armed with knives and over a period of around 2-3 minutes you butchered Lee Rigby - going, as you were well aware, far beyond what was needed to murder him."
He said Adebolajo repeatedly hacked at the soldier's neck with a cleaver-type knife and then another knife.
Adebowale concentrated on his torso, stabbing him a number of times in the chest in "frenzied fashion and with severe force".
The judge said the pair "gloried in what they did" as a crowd of onlookers grew.
Adebolajo handed out a pre-prepared written statement at the scene and also made remarks filmed on a mobile phone, before police arrived at the scene and shot and wounded them.
The judge said the killers' behaviour was "sickening and pitiless", and that Adebolajo had no hope of rehabilitation. He added: "Your sickening and pitiless conduct was in stark contrast to the compassion and bravery shown by the various women at the scene who tended to Lee Rigby's body and challenged what you had done and said."
The pair were convicted of the murder in December, but Mr Justice Sweeney delayed sentencing until after a key appeal court ruling last month that whole-life tariffs can be used by UK judges.
The Met Police's Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick said the sentence reflected the "true horror" of their "barbaric" actions.
Sue Hemming from the Crown Prosecution Service said it was one of the most appalling terrorist murders she had seen, calling it "brutal and calculated".
Earlier, as the sentencing hearing got under way, Adebolajo refused to stand as his name was read out and Adebowale stood to confirm his name.
Victim impact statements were read out to the court, including one from Fusilier Rigby's widow, Rebecca Rigby, who said: "I was also suddenly living in the public gaze.
"I couldn't go anywhere or do anything. I felt like I didn't want to go on. I saw people nudging and looking at me if I walked down the street.
"I know my son will grow up and see images of his dad that no son should have to endure and there's nothing I can do to change this."
Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC said the family's lives had been devastated, adding: "All their lives have been irreparably changed for the worse."
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