A man guilty of the British soldier, Lee Rigby’s murder in a street in London is to spend the rest of his life behind bars, while his fellow killer was jailed for a minimum of 45 years.
Michael Adebolajo, 29, was handed a full life sentence on Wednesday, while Michael Adebowale, 22, his accomplice, received a minimum term of 45 years.
The defendants were found guilty of Rigby’s murder on December 19, but their sentencing was delayed because the judge wanted to wait for clarification about Britain’s position on life sentences.
The country’s Court of Appeal last week said domestic laws on whole-life prison sentences were compatible with European human rights laws, even though the European Union disagrees.
Adebolajo and Adebowale deliberately hit Rigby with a car, stabbed him multiple times and tried to cut his head off in broad daylight outside an army base in the London suburb of Woolwich last May.
Jurors on the case watched mobile phone footage of Adebolajo with his hands covered in blood, attributing the attack to “an eye for an eye”, in a video taken from the attack in May of 2013.
They also saw a video of Adebolajo’s police interview, during which he said, “between us we decided that the soldier is the most fair target because he joins the army with kind of the understanding that your life is at risk when you join the army. So we sat in wait and it just so happened that he was the soldier that we spotted first.”
Adebolajo was detained by Kenyan police in Mombasa before being deported to the UK in 2010. He was accused of seeking training with the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab in Somalia.
Rigby’s family attended the court for Wednesday’s sentencing as they witness the Killers of British soldier jailed for a minimum of 45 years jail terms.