Fusilier Lee Rigby’s Romford killer given whole-life sentence

17:16 26 February 2014

Michael Adebolajo. Picture: Met Police

Michael Adebolajo. Picture: Met Police


The Romford killer of Fusilier Lee Rigby will die behind bars after a judge at the Old Bailey handed him a whole-life sentence today for the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.

Michael Adebolajo, 29, from Romford, and Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwhich, were found guilty killing the soldier after they drove into him before hacking him to death with a knife.

Adebowale was sentenced to serve 45 years in prison but the judge deemed a whole-life sentence for him inappropriate

The murderers had to be restrained after they shouted at judge shortly before the sentence was to be read out. They were pinned to the ground by guards and taken to their cells. The judge sentenced them in their absence.

The pair were convicted of Rigby’s murder last December after a jury unanimously found them guilty.

Their sentencing was held off until the decision came from the court of appeal that whole-life sentences are justified in the “most heinous cases”.

Adebolajo attended Marshalls Park School, Romford.

Police Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “Today’s sentence reflects the true horror of their actions in taking this young man’s life in such a barbaric way.

“Our thoughts remain with Lee’s loved ones, who have shown dignity and strength throughout the judicial process.”

On December 19, 2013, Rigby was nearby his barracks wearing a Help for Heroes sweatshirt when he was struck by a blue Vauxhall Tigra being driven at speeds between 30 and 40mph by Adebolajo.

The pair got out of the car and attacked the soldier with knives and a machete while Rigby lay stunned by the impact of the car.

As officers arrived Adebolajo ran towards them with a cleaver above his head and Adebowale ran alongside the car pointing a gun at the officers.

Firearms officers shot the men and detained them.

What are your thoughts on the sentencing? Contact Sam on 0208 477 3892 or email

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