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Murdered Fusilier's friends on life without Lee

Members of Lee Rigby's regiment are facing their own very personal battle, the rest of their lives without their best mate.

The understandably huge distress suffered by Lee Rigby's family has been witnessed during the court case.

But as Mel Barham found out he's also greatly missed by his colleagues in the army and also in his home town of Middleton - where the friends he grew up with are still coming to terms with life without Lee, someone they'd known from boy to man.

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Lee Rigby: Once a Fusilier, always a Fusilier

by Daniel Hewitt

The backdrop to the death of Lee Rigby was the fight for survival by the regiment he so proudly served.

His unit, the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which recruits heavily from the North West - faces the axe under the latest round of cuts by the Ministry of Defence.

Daniel Hewitt reports now on the story of Lee Rigby's regiment and its defiant motto - once a Fusilier, always a Fusilier.

For more on the 2nd battalion's fight for survival check out 'Save our Soldiers - Save 2RRF' by Filterview Productions here.

Muslim community in North West condemn Rigby killing

After warnings that it's becoming more and more difficult for the security services to identify and stop extremists like Lee Rigby's killers, Muslim communities in our region say they're doing all they can to prevent young people being radicalised.

As our correspondent Ashley Derricott found, Muslims in the North West say the murder of Lee Rigby was definitely not a question of religion.

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PM: Must confront poisonous narrative of extremism

David Cameron said the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby "shows that we have to redouble our efforts to confront the poisonous narrative of extremism and violence that lay behind this and make sure we do everything to beat it in our country."

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, the Prime Minister said: "The whole country was completely shocked by the murder of Lee Rigby and the whole country united in condemnation of what happened."

"I'm sure everyone will welcome these verdicts today," he added.

Read: Two men guilty of murdering Fusilier Lee Rigby

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Fusiliers have 'become very resilient' after Lee's death

Colonel Jim Taylor, of 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, had taken command just three weeks before Lee Rigby's death.

The first time he addressed his soldiers was to deliver the news of their comrade's murder.

He told ITV News correspondent Geraint Vincent that it was a "tragic set of circumstances and a brutal way to die."

He also said the Fusiliers "have become very resilient in their outlook in the way that they have dealt with deaths on operations...and to the tragic events - terrorist related - of Lee's death.

"It is a bitter experience for everyone to go through, regardless of how it happens," he added.

Home Secretary: Rigby murder an appalling act of violence and terror

The Home Secretary Theresa May has spoken after the conviction of the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby.

Ms May said:

"The sickening and barbaric murder of Drummer Lee Rigby united the entire nation in condemnation and I welcome the jury's decision.

"But we must not forget that this appalling and public act of violence and terror also robbed his family and loved ones of a brave, young man with his life ahead of him. My thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

"Violence and extremism of any kind have absolutely no place in our society and cannot be justified. In the wake of Lee Rigby's murder, the Prime Minister set up the Extremism Task Force, which recently announced new measures to tackle extremism and radicalism across the UK.

"We have some of the toughest counter-terrorism laws in the democratic world and we are resolute in our determination to counter the threats to our way of life posed by extremist behaviour and ideologies."

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Judge expresses 'admiration' for Lee Rigby's family

Mr Justice Sweeney expressed his "gratitude and admiration" for Lee Rigby's family following the conviction of the two men responsible for his death.

Lee Rigby's family and friends have been in court almost every day listening to the harrowing evidence of what happened in the soldier's final moments.

Lee Rigby's family and friends have been in court almost every day listening to the harrowing evidence. Credit: PA Wire

He said they had "sat in court with great dignity throughout what must have been the most harrowing of evidence".

The judge added: "I'm extremely grateful to them and can only sympathise with what has happened to them and its continued effect ... upon all their lives."

Watch: Family: No amount of justice will bring Lee back

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