Drummer Lee Rigby died of 'multiple stab wounds', post-mortem reveals, as police issue new appeal for information

 

Police investigating the “shocking and horrific” murder of Drummer Lee Rigby issued a new appeal for information today as they confirmed the soldier died from multiple stab wounds.

An inquest into Drummer Rigby's death will be opened at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, Scotland Yard said, after the results of the post-mortem examination were revealed.

Fresh details were released after it emerged that three firearms officers involved in the shooting of the men suspected of the murder could be back on duty within weeks.

Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo were both shot in the wake of the brutal murder near Woolwich barracks. Adebowale was discharged from hospital and taken into police custody yesterday, while Adebolajo remains in hospital.

Scotland Yard said its officers and the Security Service continue to work "tirelessly and painstakingly" on the investigation.

Speaking in Woolwich today, Commander Simon Letchford urged any witnesses to the attack, or anyone with any information, to come forward.

Police are also calling for information on the blue Vauxhall Tigra, registration N696 JWX, that hit Drummer Rigby last Wednesday afternoon.

"Seven days ago Lee Rigby was murdered in an act of violence that was shocking and horrific. Our thoughts are with Lee's family and friends at this very difficult time for them," Mr Letchford said.

"A fast-paced and complex investigation is now under way led by detectives from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command.

"As part of that investigation, officers are asking for the public's help. We need to hear from anyone who may have seen Lee being attacked or who may have any other information that may help.

"Officers are out in the area today handing out leaflets and engaging with members of the public who may not yet have come forward.

"I'd like to thank the public for all their help and support so far.

"This has been a difficult time for everyone in our city. What is important now is that we, as Londoners, come together. I would urge people to continue to show restraint and calm as our investigation continues to bring those responsible for Lee's death to justice."

Officers from the Counter Terrorism Command, Greenwich Borough and the Safer Transport Command will distribute appeal posters and leaflets in the area today.

Police also urged anyone who filmed or took photographs to send the moving or still images to woolwichmetincident.co.uk, including their name and contact details, and not to delete them after sending them.

Yesterday, relatives of Adebolajo released a statement sending their "heartfelt condolence" to Drummer Rigby's family, and saying there is no place for violence in the name of religion.

The Adebolajo family said: "Nothing we can say can undo the events of last week. However, as a family, we wish to share with others our horror at the senseless killing of Lee Rigby, and express our profound shame and distress that this has brought to our family.

"We send our heartfelt condolence to Lee Rigby's family and loved ones."

So far, 10 people have been held by detectives investigating the young soldier's death, including Adebowale and Adebolajo.

In a statement released through his lawyers, Hayden Allen, 21, who was held on Saturday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder, denied any involvement in the "atrocity". He was released on bail.

Others held include a 50-year-old man, arrested in Welling, southeast London, who was released on bail yesterday.

Two women, aged 29 and 31, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder but later released without charge.

Earlier, chief superintendent Alistair Sutherland said he 'certainly hopes' officers involved in the shooting of the two suspects will return to normal duties soon.

He said: "I will obviously speak to my counterparts in our department for professional standards and I will liaise with the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission), and then I will come to a decision around putting them back to ops.

"But at this stage I would anticipate them being back on operational duty fairly quickly."

The officers, along with two of their commanders, are currently undergoing post-shooting assessments.

The IPCC is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting of the two men.

It said that two police officers had fired gun shots and one used their Taser when they were "confronted" by Adebolajo and Adebowale.

Armed response teams are trained in first aid and carry medical kits to try to save anyone injured in a shooting, and the officers involved helped treat the pair.

Meanwhile, prison chiefs reportedly linked an attack on a prison guard to the soldier's murder and warned staff of an increased risk of threats.

A male warder was left with a broken cheekbone after being held hostage by three male prisoners, two aged 25 and one aged 26, at HMP Full Sutton in Yorkshire on Sunday.

An email circulated to staff in top-security jails and young offender institutions and seen by The Times said: "Three Muslim prisoners took an officer hostage in an office. Their demands indicated they supported radical Islamist extremism.

"All staff are reminded to remain vigilant to the increased risk of potential attacks on prison officers inspired by these and last Wednesday's events."

Counter-terrorism officers have been brought in to investigate the attack at the maximum security jail, during which a female warder was also injured.

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, praised for her bravery in calmly talking to one of the alleged attackers as he stood clutching a knife with bloodied hands, returned to the scene of the murder today.

Speaking beside the piles of floral tributes to Drummer Rigby, she said: "It's the public displaying their shock and showing that they are behind the British Army and the soldiers and that this is something they will not accept."

The Frenchwoman, who has lived in Britain for nearly 30 years, has been thrust into the limelight since she confronted one of the alleged killers.

She said: "I don't want to think too much. Maybe later when I'll be on my own it will start to sink in."

Remembering the wake of the attack on May 22, she said: "I didn't have time to feel really, just something in my brain told me to do it and I just did it. I had a feeling that he wanted to communicate something... I wondered if he thought one murder might not be enough to get attention, maybe he needed to kill a second time. I didn't want him to think that."

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