World

Actions

Killers In U.K. Soldier's Brutal Slaying Sentenced

Michael Adebolajo was sentenced to the rest of his life in prison. His accomplice, Michael Adebowale, will serve a minimum 45 years.
Posted at 8:00 PM, Feb 26, 2014

Two men who viciously killed a British soldier on a busy London street in broad daylight last year received their sentences Wednesday. 

Michael Adebolajo, on the left was sentenced to the rest of his life in prison. His accomplice, 22-year-old Michael Adebowale, will serve a minimum 45 years. (Via The Guardian)

Last May, the two men, both British-born radicalized Muslims, targeted a U.K. soldier at random in London, striking him with their car, then killing him with butcher knives in the street. Adebolajo called it an act of religious justice. (Via CNN)

ADEBOLAJO: "We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. I apologize that women had to witness this today, but in our land, our women have to see the same."

Seen here in closed circuit security footage obtained by the Mirror, both men waited at the scene, then charged at police, who shot and wounded the convicted killers.

The man killed was 25-year-old Lee Rigby, a machine gunner and veteran of Afghanistan. Wednesday, his family sat just yards from Rigby's convicted murderers. (Via The Independent)

And the two men were removed from the courtroom after an outburst and scuffle with nearby guards. That came after the judge at London's Old Bailey called the killers' actions "a betrayal of Islam and of the peaceful Muslim communities who give so much to our country." Adebolajo responded "You know nothing about Islam ... I swear by Allah that America will not be safe." (Via The Telegraph)

Like all European Union members, the United Kingdom does not use the death penalty. It abolished it in 1965. And the judge had to wait for word from an appeals court to levy even the life imprisonment sentence for Adebolajo. As for his accomplice, Adebowale, the judge said the man's young age and questions of mental illness prompted the lesser 45-year sentence.

And despite protests outside court to bring back the death penalty, Brigby's family said it was pleased with the sentencing.

"We feel satisfied that justice has been brought for Lee. It just remains to be said: rest in peace, Lee."