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Report into Lee Rigby killers to be released

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of of Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo as they were found guilty of the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby. Credit: Elizabeth Cook/PA Archive

The extent of the security and intelligence agencies' prior knowledge of soldier Lee Rigby's murderers will be revealed this week as a long-awaited report from a parliamentary watchdog is finally published.

Michael Adebolajo and his younger accomplice Michael Adebowale slaughtered Fusilier Rigby in broad daylight in May last year.

It quickly emerged in the wake of the killing that secret services were aware of both Adebolajo, then 29, and Adebowale, then 22, but questions remain over whether they could have been more closely monitored.

An investigation by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), which has been subject to much debate over its bite, has now concluded and a report, described by Whitehall officials as "very substantial", will be released on Tuesday.

Rigby's fiancee finds 'some comfort' in killers' sentences

Aimee West was serving in Afghanistan on the day Lee Rigby was murdered. Credit: ITV's This Morning

The fiancee of Lee Rigby has told ITV's This Morning that she will take comfort from the life sentences given to the two men who killed him.

“It’s definitely some sort of comfort to know that I’m never going to bump into them in the streets and that they’re never going to be out again," Aimee West said.

"But I’m never going to see Lee again, that’s never going to bring Lee back.”

She said Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale scuffling with security guards in the dock yesterday rekindled some painful images.

"Just to see them kick off in the way that they did and start shouting, it was quite violent and just brought it all back. Just the images going round in your head again of that day in May, what it would have been like to be there.”

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Lee Rigby's mother told son it was 'time to rest in peace'

The mother of murdered soldier Lee Rigby said she told her son it was time for him to rest in peace as she watched the two men convicted of his death being sentenced.

Michael Adebolajo, 29, was given a whole life term and Michael Adebowale, 22, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 45 years at the Old Bailey yesterday.

Lyn Rigby (centre) said she could never forgive the two men who took her son's life. Credit: PA Wire

"I told Lee, 'It's time for you to rest in peace my beautiful son. Justice has been done and sleep well until we meet again,'" Lyn Rigby told The Sun.

"These sentences bring me comfort to know Lee will suffer no more - even though our pain goes on."

The 47-year-old said she could never forgive the pair who murdered her son near Woolwich Barracks in May last year, saying her hatred for them "burns my soul".

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Judge to killers: 'You both gloried in what you did'

Sentencing the killers, Mr Justice Sweeney said Lee Rigby "had done absolutely nothing to deserve what you went on to do to him."

Mr Justice Sweeney added: "It is no exaggeration to say that what the two of you did resulted in a bloodbath."

Adebolajo tried to behead the soldier while Adebowale stabbed him in the chest.

"You both gloried in what you had done," the judge told the court, and said it had a "severe and lasting impact" on his loved ones.

Scuffle breaks out as defendants told they betray Islam

The struggle in the dock at the Old Bailey was triggered when Adebolajo and Adebowale - both wearing Islamic robes - reacted angrily to comments that Mr Justice Sweeney made about their extremist beliefs.

Adebolajo and Adebowale appear at the Old Bailey in front of Mr Justice Sweeney. Credit: ITV News/Priscilla Coleman

He told them: "You each converted to Islam some years ago. Thereafter you were radicalised and each became an extremist, espousing views which, as has been said elsewhere, are a betrayal of Islam."

Adebowale protested that this was a lie, ranting about America and Britain, and his accomplice joined in, screaming "allahu akbar" and hurling abuse at the prison guards who grappled him to the ground.

Both men were grabbed around the face as guards struggled to control them, and taken down to the cells.The soldier's family were visibly distressed, and one relative needed medical treatment.

Woolwich attack 'designed to advance extremist views'

Sue Hemming, head of special crime and counter terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said:

Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale revelled in one of the most appalling terrorist murders I have seen whilst head of counter terrorism at the CPS.

Not only was the attack brutal and calculated, it was also designed to advance extremist views.

As a solider, Fusilier Lee Rigby was targeted in a clear act of revenge, deliberately carried out in full view of members of the public for maximum impact.

Under the law, terrorism is committed by a defined act designed to influence a Government, the public or an NGO for the purpose of advancing a religious, political, ideological or racial cause.

This attack was always going to fail in that purpose as it served only to bring people together in shock, sympathy and solidarity.

In December, the two defendants were convicted of a savage murder.

Following strong argument from the prosecution, they have today been sentenced for carrying out that murder during an act of terrorism.

I know the court process has been particularly distressing for Lee Rigby’s family.

I hope they can take some small comfort from the sentences imposed today and can begin to move on.

Three arrests outside sentencing of Lee Rigby killers

Demonstrators gathered outside the sentencing of Lee Rigby's murderers. Credit: Reuters

Three people were arrested outside the Old Bailey today as far-right protesters gathered ahead of the sentencing of the two men who murdered soldier Lee Rigby.

Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the court building, waving Union flags and chanting.

A City of London Police spokesman said two men were arrested, one on suspicion of actual bodily harm and one for affray.

A woman was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.

The police spokesman said there was a "significant police presence" in the area.

The street has been closed in both directions outside the court.

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