Jurors shown footage of 'callous murder' of soldier

Lee Rigby is seen on CCTV at Woolwich DLR station on the day he was killed. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Video footage of soldier Lee Rigby being struck by a car and his alleged killers dragging his body into the middle of the road was shown to a jury.

There were gasps in court as CCTV clips were played and relatives of the fusilier left the room in tears.

Prosecutors claim that the 25-year-old was victim to "a cowardly and callous murder" when Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, ran him over, dragged him into the middle of the road and attacked him with a meat cleaver and knife.

*A warning that the report by UK Editor Lucy Manning contains graphic images: *

Fusilier Rigby entered Tower Gateway DLR station at 1.35pm on the day he was killed, wearing a Help for Heroes hoodie and carrying an Army day sack, the prosecution said. He travelled to Woolwich Arsenal DLR and walked to Artillery Place.

The jury was shown footage of a Vauxhall Tigra, which prosecutors claim was being driven by Adebolajo, swerve across Artillery Place in Woolwich, south-east London, and hit the soldier.

They were told that the car was driven "straight at" Fusilier Rigby at a speed of 30-40mph, before the knife attack.

A warning that this footage shows the moment before Lee Rigby was hit by the vehicle:

Jurors were also shown a video clip of Adebolajo speaking while holding bladed weapons in his bloodied hands.

Speaking into the camera he said:

The only reason we've killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers.

This British soldier is one - he is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

By Allah we swear by the Almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone.

A warning that this footage contains graphic images:

Prosecutors claim that Adebolajo and Adebowale wanted members of the public to see what they had done.

Richard Whittam QC told the court:

They wanted members of the public to see the consequence of what can only be described as their barbarous acts.

Michael Adebolajo (left) and Michael Adebowale (right) listen to the prosecution opening from the dock. Credit: ITV News/Priscilla Coleman

The prosecutor told the jury that members of the public showed "bravery and decency" in the aftermath of the alleged attack.

Such heinous behaviour is in distinct contrast to the bravery and decency shown by some of the members of the public present.

Despite the abhorrence of the scene, one woman went to the lifeless body of Lee Rigby and stroked him to provide some comfort and humanity to what had unfolded.

Others went to see if they could provide first aid.

Another woman engaged Michael Adebolajo in conversation despite the fact that he was still holding the meat cleaver and his hands were covered in blood.

The widow of murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby, Rebecca Rigby, returns to the Old Bailey after lunch. Credit: PA Wire

A number of women went to the scene to comfort the soldier, the jury heard, including Amanda Donnelly Martin, who was with her daughter.

The court heard that Adebolajo handed her a letter containing religious references.

It said "to fight Allah's enemies is an obligation" and went on:

If you find yourself curious as to why carnage is reaching your own towns then know it's simply retaliation for your oppression in our towns.

Many of your people are aristocrats that directly benefit from invasion of our lands without material loss.

Whereas the average Joe Bloggs working class man loses his sons when they're killed by our brothers, when the heat of battle reaches your local street it's unlikely that any of your so-called politicians will be at risk or caught in crossfire so I suggest you remove them.

Fusilier Lee Rigby was murdered on May 22 in Woolwich. Credit: MoD/Crown Copy/PA Wire

The court heard that the two men were also armed with a gun, and have admitted posession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Mr Whittam told the jury of eight women and four men that the firearm was part of the plan the pair had made, and was used partly to frighten off members of the public before the emergency services arrived.

Fiancee Aimee West (left) and sister Sara McClure (right) of murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby leave the Old Bailey. Credit: PA Wire

As a police vehicle swung into Artillery Place, both men moved towards it, Mr Whittam said, and Adebolajo raised the meat cleaver above his head.

Adebolajo and Adebowale are both accused of attempting to murder a police officer, and conspiracy to murder a police officer on or before May 22.

Armed officers shot both defendants and they were arrested, the court heard.

Mr Whittam told the court the defendants had been together for five hours before the alleged murder and added "it was clear" there had been an agreement to attack the police when they arrived.

Schoolchildren were diverted from the scene in Woolwich where soldier Lee Rigby was murdered, the court heard. Credit: Metropolitan Police

The events took place within yards of Mulgrave Primary School, the court heard, to which children were returning from a visit to the library. Members of the public turned them back to avoid the "awful" scene.

Adebolajo and Adebowale both deny murdering Fusilier Rigby. The case continues.