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UPDATE: Life sentence for Lee Rigby killer

Rebecca Rigby, the wife of Fusilier Lee Rigby, arrives at the Old Bailey ahead of the sentencing of Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale

Rebecca Rigby, the wife of Fusilier Lee Rigby, arrives at the Old Bailey ahead of the sentencing of Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale

The two Muslim fanatics who murdered soldier Lee Rigby have been given long sentences at the Old Bailey this afternoon.(Wed)

Michael Adebolajo, 29, waqs given a whol life term meaning he will not be allowed a parole hearing while Michael Adebowale, 22, was sentenced to a minimum term of 45 years.

There were protests outside the court and disturbances from the two defendants as the sentences were read out. The two men had to be taken from the court as the judge continued with his sentencing.

Earlier in the hearing a moving statement written by Rebecca Rigby, of Southowram, was read to the court where her husband’s murderers are in the dock.

Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC read excerpts of the statement, in which Mrs Rigby described the effect of suddenly being in the public gaze after the brutal killing.

She said: “I was also living in the public gaze. I couldn’t go out or do anything. I felt like I didn’t want to go on. I saw people nudging and looking at me if I tried to walk down the street, it was surreal.

“Of all the feelings I have, the one thing that overrides everything is that I know my son will grow up and see images of his dad that no son should ever have to endure, and there is nothing I can do to change this.”

Islamist fanatics Adebolajo and Adebowale hit Fusilier Rigby, 25, in a car before hacking him to death near Woolwich barracks in south east London on May 22 last year.

Mrs Rigby said that she had accepted her husband would be at risk when he went to serve in Afghanistan, but not in Britain, where he was based when he died.

She said: “When you wave someone off you accept that there is a chance you will never see them again. You do not expect to see this on the streets of the UK.

“Lee will never be forgotten. We will always love him and miss him every day.”

The court also heard part of a statement from the soldier’s stepfather, Ian Rigby.

He said: “After all he had been through in Afghanistan all Lee was doing was just walking through London. Just seeing on the television and seeing the violence of it you just can’t comprehend. You take it all in and it doesn’t click in your head, it is like being somewhere else.

“You’re watching it without being actually there.”

Mr Whittam said that the family’s lives had been devastated.

He said: “The scale of the impact on them of the nature of the murder of Lee Rigby in the circumstances made so public during the trial and after such a killing causing a son to pre-decease his parents and stepfather and leave those others who loved him without a husband or a soul mate is too obvious to set out in detail.

“He had, as your lordship knows, a young son. All their lives have been irreparably changed for the worse.”

Adebolajo’s defending barrister David Gottlieb argued against his client being handed a whole-life order, with no hope of parole.

Mr Gottlieb said: “He should not in these circumstances be deprived of any hope of release.”

The barrister said Adebolajo was “not someone incapable of change without proper encouragement”.

Adebolajo, who has two children and four stepchildren, did not intend to physically injure anyone other than the victim, he said.

Fusier Rigby married Rebecca (nee Metcalfe) at St Anne’s Church, Southowram, in October 2007.

 
 
 

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