Judges to hear Rigby killer appeals

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Published: Wednesday 3rd December 2014 by The News Editor

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The two Islamic fanatics found guilty of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby are having appeals heard by leading judges today.

Michael Adebolajo wants to challenge both his conviction and a whole-life sentence which condemns him to die behind bars.

Lawyers for his co-accused Michael Adebowale, who was jailed for life with a minimum term of 45 years, will be arguing for a reduction in sentence.

Both cases are being heard by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, sitting at the Court of Appeal in London with Lady Justice Hallett and Mr Justice Openshaw.

The British-born Muslim converts ran 25-year-old Fusilier Rigby down in a car before hacking him to death with a meat cleaver and knives in a frenzied attack.

They dumped the body of the father-of-one in the middle of the road near Woolwich Barracks in south east London on May 22 last year.

Adebolajo and Adebowale lay in wait near the barracks and picked Fusilier Rigby to kill after assuming he was a soldier because he was wearing a Help for Heroes hooded top and carrying a camouflage rucksack.

After driving into him, the killers – who had armed themselves with eight knives, including a meat cleaver and a five-piece set bought by Adebolajo the previous day – butchered him in the street in broad daylight in front of horrified onlookers.

Both men were shot by police in dramatic scenes captured by CCTV.

They claimed they were ”soldiers of Allah” and were motivated by the plight of Muslims abroad to carry out the killing.

Both were convicted of murder at the Old Bailey and sentenced in February.

Explaining his decision to give Adebolajo a whole-life term, trial judge Mr Justice Sweeney said he was the leader of the murderous plot and had ”no real prospect of rehabilitation”.

However, Adebowale’s younger age, mental health problems and ”lesser role” meant that he escaped spending the rest of his natural life behind bars.

Whole-life terms came under the spotlight earlier this year when judges at the Court of Appeal ruled that murderers who commit the most ”heinous” of crimes can be sent to prison for the rest of their lives.

Those currently serving whole-life terms in England and Wales include Moors Murderer Ian Brady, who tortured and murdered children along with accomplice Myra Hindley, and serial killer Rosemary West.

Published: Wednesday 3rd December 2014 by The News Editor

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