UK & World News

  • 26 February 2014, 21:48

Lee Rigby Murderers Fight With Guards

The two men who murdered soldier Lee Rigby fought with guards in the dock ahead of their sentencing at the Old Bailey.

Michael Adebolajojumped from his seat and shouted "Allah akbar" at the judge, and both he and Michael Adebowalehad to be restrained by several security guards.

It came after Mr Justice Sweeneytold the pair, who were wearing Islamic robes, they had been radicalised and had betrayed their religion.

Adebowale shouted "that's a lie" and "it's not a betrayal of Islam", and ranted about America and Britain.

After Abebolajo's outburst of the phrase, which means "God is great", officers were forced to take them down to the cells, and the 29-year-old could still be heard screaming downstairs.

Some members of FusilierRigby's family were shocked and crying at having to witness the violent outburst in the dock.

The judge then continued his sentencing in their absence and within minutes they had both been sentenced, with Adebowalesentenced to a minimum of 45 years and Adebolajogiven a whole-life term.

The pair ran Fusilier Rigby down before hacking him to death in Woolwich last year.

In sentencing, Mr Justice Sweeney said they had "butchered" Mr Rigby in the street. He said Adebolajo concentrated on his neck with two different knives, while Abdebowale concentrated on his torso, causing "horrendous" injuries.

"You both gloried in what you had done," he said.

He described the killing of Fusilier Rigby as a "bloodbath", and that the pair wanted to become "martyrs" and gain a place in paradise.

The killers were convicted of the murder in December, but the judge delayed sentencing until after a key appeal court ruling last month that whole-life tariffs can be used by UK judges.

Earlier, as the sentencing hearing began,Adebolajo refused to stand as his name was read out andAdebowale stood to confirm his name.

Adebolajo's barrister, David Gottlieb, told the court: "However shocking and terrifying a crime, a whole-life term can never be justified when the full circumstances of the offence known at the time ... show that the offender is not so deprived of all human dignity that he has no possibility of atonement in the future."

He compared Adebolajo's extremist views to "alcoholism" or a severe "psychiatric" illness.

"Whatever his expressed views or wishes, he's not somebody who's incapable of change," he added.

Abbas Lakha, Adebowale's defence barrister, argued Adebowaleplayed a "lesser role" in the killing and that he was a passenger in the car - which he said he did not know was going to be driven at FusilierRigby.

Heated protests took place outside the court during the hearing, with one group heard chanting: "There's only one Lee Rigby."

Supporters of the British National Party and the English Defence League gathered around gallows that had been built nearby as many held placards which read: "Restore capital punishment".

Cheers were heard outside when the sentences were announced.

:: Watch live coverage and reaction from the Old Bailey on Sky News, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.

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