Michael Adebolajo (ctr) and Michael Adebowale (r) were sentenced murdering Lee Rigby
Elham Asaad Buaras
The killers of Drummer Lee Rigby erupted into aggression in an Old Bailey courtroom as they were sentenced for murder on February 26.
Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, had to be manhandled out of court by security guards after being told by Justice Sweeney that their crime was a “betrayal of Islam”.
Adebolajo screamed at the judge as he was manhandled down the dock stairs in the historic Court No 2 but, in scenes lasting several minutes, his co-defendant was held to the floor and cuffed before being carried downstairs head first.
Adebolajo and Adebowale hacked the soldier to death in May last year after running him over near his barracks in Woolwich, south-east London.
Angered by the judges’ comments about Islam, Adebowale stood up and shouted: “That’s a lie. It’s not a betrayal of Islam. You don’t know what Islam is.”
The struggle erupted as the murderer yelled: “I swear by Allah that America and Britain will never have any safety. Allahu Akbar [God is Great].”
After the defendants had been removed, Justice Sweeney resumed his sentencing to give Adebolajo a “whole-life” tariff, meaning he will spend the rest of his life in jail.
Adebowale was given life with a minimum term of 45 years. The judge described the scene of the murder as a “bloodbath” and said they “butchered” Drummer Rigby.
Sweeney said the pair had not shown any remorse: “I’m sure this was a murder done for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or racial cause.
“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 men were convicted of murder last December but their sentencing was put on hold while the Court of Appeal decided whether judges were free to impose whole life tariffs following a controversial ruling by European judges.
Appeal judges backed existing British laws which say that in “exceptional” cases the most heinous criminals can be sent to jail for the rest of their lives.