Lee Rigby Killer Michael Adebolajo Launches Appeal . . . And It Could Cost Tens of Thousands in Legal Aid
Martin Robinson, Daily Mail (London), January 30, 2014
One of the two Muslim converts who hacked Drummer Lee Rigby to death has launched a taxpayer-funded appeal against his murder conviction, it was revealed today.
Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, ran down the 25-year-old Fusilier at 30mph before executing him in a Woolwich street using a meat cleaver and knives last year.
They were found guilty of his murder in just 90 minutes last month, but Adebolajo maintained they were ‘soldiers of Allah’ and ‘at war’, so should not have been convicted.
He has now applied to the Court of Appeal in London to have it quashed, it has emerged.
If judges agree his case deserves a new hearing, his defence could cost the taxpayers tens of thousands in legal aid.
On May 22 last year Adebolajo, a married father of six, lay in wait near Woolwich Barracks with Adebowale so they could kill a soldier.
They picked 25-year-old Fusilier Rigby because he was wearing a Help for Heroes hooded top and carrying a camouflage rucksack.
After driving into him in their Vauxhall Tigra, 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 front of horrified onlookers.
Lee Rigby’s family fled the Old Bailey in tears on several occasions during the harrowing trial.
One witness described the killers’ actions as being ‘like a butcher attacking a joint of meat’.
The jury of eight women and four men sat through weeks of evidence including shocking footage of Adebolajo with bloodied hands confessing to the killing and claiming his actions were ‘an eye for an eye’.
They then waited for armed police hoping they would be killed and sent to ‘paradise’ but Scotland Yard officers shot them but ensure they did not suffer fatal injuries.
Adebolajo was seen dropping the meat cleaver as he sprinted across the road towards a police car, collapsing to the ground when he was shot.
Adebowale, who moved along a wall to draw fire from the officers, was seen folding over as he was shot by one of three armed officers and had a finger blasted off when he tried to point his gun at them again.
Both were then given life-saving first aid in the road.
The killers asked to be called by their adopted Islamic names in court–Adebolajo as Mujahid Abu Hamza, and Adebowale as Ismail Ibn Abdullah–and claimed they carried out the murder because they were ‘soldiers of Allah’.
The jury was told this was no defence in law to the charge.
The men were cleared of the attempted murder of a police officer, and had previously admitted possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Mr Justice Sweeney said he will sentence the pair after a key Court of Appeal ruling on the use of whole-life jail terms.
A date for the appeal judgment has not been announced following a recent hearing before a panel of five leading judges, headed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas.