The murderers of soldier Lee Rigby jailed for life at the Old Bailey

Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale Credit: Metropolitan Police

The two Muslim fanatics who murdered soldier Lee Rigby, from Middleton, Greater Manchester will spend their lives behind bars after being sentenced at the Old Bailey.

Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, mowed the young soldier down in a car before hacking him to death in front of horrified onlookers near Woolwich barracks in south-east London on May 22 last year.

Adebolajo was given a whole life jail term after a key appeal court ruling last month found that the sentences can be used by UK judges.

Adebowale was given a minimum of 45 years.

Mr Justice Sweeney waited until after the decision to tell British-born Adebolajo and Adebowale their fate.

During their Old Bailey trial last year, Adebowale, from Greenwich, south-east London, offered no evidence in his defence, but Adebolajo, from Romford, Essex, gave a rambling testimony during which he told the jury he loved al Qaida.

He claimed that they were "soldiers of Allah" and had carried out the sickening killing as revenge for abuse of Muslims abroad.

They chose Fusilier Rigby, 25, as their victim because he was wearing a Help for Heroes hooded top that day, and they assumed he was a soldier.

After the pair were convicted at the Old Bailey in December, Adebolajo kissed his Koran and raised it into the air as he and his accomplice were led down to the cells.

Fusilier Rigby's family, who were praised for their dignity throughout the trial, welcomed the killers' convictions.

His mother Lyn said: "We are satisfied that justice has been served, but unfortunately no amount of justice will ever bring Lee back."