In May 2013, Michael Adebolajo (pictured left) and Michael Adebowale (pictured right) ran over young father and British soldier Lee Rigby in a London street, then set about him with meat cleavers. Almost severing his head, Rigby’s body was so badly disfigured that he had to be identified by dental records.
It was a crime that shocked not only the British public, but the world. Adebolajo and Adebowale did not try to run away from their crime, but instead waited for the police to arrive while encouraging passersby to film them explaining why they had murdered an innocent man. Covered in Rigby’s blood and carrying large knives, Adebolajo proclaimed they were fighting a religious war and had attacked Rigby because the British government was murdering people ‘in Muslim lands’. When armed police arrived, the killers attacked the officer and were shot in the process. Both survived and were charged with murder. A jury found them guilty in December of 2013, and on Wednesday both men received sentencing after proceedings were taken to ensure they could receive life sentencing without parole (a highly unusual occurrence in the British judicial system).
From the Guardian:
Michael Adebolajo was sentenced to die behind bars on Wednesday for the “barbaric” murder of Lee Rigby, a soldier mutilated in a Londonstreet.
Adebolajo was given a whole-life tariff while his accomplice Michael Adebowale was sentenced to life in prison with a 45-year minimum term.
The pair were not in court at the Old Bailey in central London as they were sentenced after being removed from the dock shortly beforehand after shouting protests at the remarks of the judge, Mr Justice Sweeney.
They were pinned to the ground by security guards before being removed to the cells….
The judge had delayed sentencing until a court of appeal ruling clarified whether those convicted of the most serious murders could receive sentences meaning that they would never be released.
That ruling came earlier this month and paved the way for the two men who butchered Rigby in an attack in which he was almost decapitated to be face life imprisonment with no parole or prospect of ever being freed, though on Wednesday only Adebolajo was given a whole life term.
Both men were not present at their sentencing due to a violent scuffle with guards beforehand. In response to Sweeney’s assertion that both men had become radicalized after converting to Islam, the pair began protesting loudly. The guards intervened and pinned them to the floor before removing them from the court.
Adebolajo shouted,”Allahu Akbar” as he was taken away – the last words he’ll utter in public ever again.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.