Two men sentenced to life for Rigby murder
Categories: Latest News
Thursday February 27 2014
There is considerable coverage in the newspapers and by broadcasters on the sentencing yesterday of Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale at the Old Bailey for the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby last May (Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Star, The Independent, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, The Mirror, The Times, BBC News, Sky News and ITV News).
The sentencing at court attracted a protest by far right groups, the BNP and English Defence League, who built a mock gallows and noose in the street while brandishing placards demanding Rigby’s murderers be handed the death penalty. The far right groups also chanted “hang them” outside the court.
All the papers relay the outburst by the men as Justice Sweeney declared their actions “a betrayal of Islam and of the peaceful Muslim communities who give so much to our country.”
Judge Sweeney said to the men “You each converted to Islam some years ago. Thereafter you were radicalised and each became an extremist, espousing views which, as has been said elsewhere, are a betrayal of Islam.”
He added, “I’m sure this was a murder done for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or racial cause”.
The Mirror’s coverage includes the remarks of Adebowale’s legal defence, Abbas Lakha QC, who drew comparisons with the sentence passed on Pavlo Lapshyn, a far right extremist convicted of the murder of Muslim pensioner, Muhammad Saleem Khan. Lapshyn escaped a life sentence last year when he was jailed for a minimum of 40 years.
Michael Adebolajo, 29, was sentenced to a whole-life jail term following senior British judges’ decision last week to disregard the European Court of Human Rights ruling that whole-life tariffs were unlawful.
Michael Adebowale, 22, was sentenced a minimum of 45 years in jail. Both were convicted unanimously by a jury in December last year.
BBC News and the Daily Mirror also draw attention to the three arrests outside the Old Bailey during the far right’s protest. Two men were arrested, one on suspicion of actual bodily harm and one for affray. A woman was also arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.