Search

Lee Rigby murderer Michael Adebolajo was a ‘good-natured and easy-going’ boy at Romford school

PUBLISHED: 13:27 23 December 2013 | UPDATED: 13:37 23 December 2013

Michael Adebolajo who has been found guilty of the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Michael Adebolajo who has been found guilty of the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby. Picture: Metropolitan Police

“Home-grown terrorist” Michael Adebolajo was a “good-natured and easy-going boy”, according to his former Romford school.

CCTV shown during the trial of Adebolajo and Adebowale (right) as they speak to a member of the public. Picture: Metropolitan Police CCTV shown during the trial of Adebolajo and Adebowale (right) as they speak to a member of the public. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Adebolajo, 29, butchered Drummer Lee Rigby in the street in Woolwich with Michael Adebowale, 22, in a bid to spark a wave of extremist violence across the country in May.

He was filmed by a member of the public brandishing a bloody meat cleaver saying he had committed the murder in revenge for Muslim deaths in British conflicts.

But former teachers and friends at Marshalls Park School, in Pettits Lane, remembered Adebolajo as a popular teenager, who even became a prefect.

Headteacher Pam Mason said: “He was a good-natured and easy-going boy. Michael was liked by both staff and peers.

“He had a strong group of friends but he could mix well with others and he was popular and well liked across a wide range of students.

“Michael was bright and confident and had a good sense of humour.

“He had a good work ethic and gained the grades he needed to be accepted on to his chosen courses at Havering Sixth Form College. He enjoyed being at school.”

Former schoolmates identified Adebolajo on the day of the Woolwich attack from television footage.

A past Marshalls Park pupil, who was friends with Adebolajo’s younger brother, said: “He was a clever guy but he was cheeky. I’d never have seen him as a Muslim extremist.

“His family were very Christian. They moved to Lincoln when we left school in about 2003. I haven’t heard from them since.”

A number of other Marshalls Park alumni left similar thoughts on the Recorder’s Facebook page.

One wrote: “I grew up with him for years – through juniors, outside football leagues and seniors.

“He was in my form and my mate. This really makes no sense.”

Adebolajo had no contact with the school after leaving in 2001.

His former friend and fellow Marshalls Park student, Kirk Redpath, joined the Army and was killed by an explosive device in Iraq.

Adebolajo, who was “disgusted” by the invasion of Iraq, converted to Islam in his first year at Greenwich University.

Extremist Omar Bakri Mohammed, then leader of the extremist group Al-Muhajiroun, has since claimed he personally converted Adebolajo.

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

12:00

Havering Council is reviewing all Private Sector Leased properties it owns, and some residents are scared that they will be forced to move out of the borough.

10:00

Do you have what it takes to feature in, “a giant of a pantomime” at your local theatre?

Patient services at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust are getting better - but improvement is still required.

Yesterday, 17:00

The council launched its bid yesterday to create a construction site in Rainham for the Heathrow Airport expansion.

Yesterday, 14:04

A plan to enhance the lives of residents in Havering by improving air quality has been given the green light by Havering Council.

Yesterday, 12:00

A public consultation has launched asking for residents’ views on a multi-million pound project to transform an area.

Yesterday, 10:54

A 33-year-old has been arrested as part of a major UK-Belgian investigation into people smuggling.

Yesterday, 10:28

Firefighters will soon be at hand not to put out fires, but to wash your car for charity.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Sean Watson, director at the family-run St Michaels Homes which runs Howard Lodge and Dudbrook Hall, answers the common questions people have about care homes.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now