Lee Rigby murder: Soldier's widow speaks out as Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale wait to hear jail terms
Widow of Fusilier Rigby tells court their child will grow up to see 'images of dad no son should have to endure'
The wife of the murdered soldier Lee Rigby has said their child will grow up to see "images of his dad that no son should have to endure", as a judge at the Old Bailey prepared to sentence his killers today.
Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, ran the young soldier down in a car before hacking him to death on a street near Woolwich barracks in May.
Today the court heard about the impact of the attack to the family of Fusilier Rigby, 25, and a statement from the soldier's stepfather described the shock of seeing footage of the brutal attack on TV.
Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC read out excerpts of the statement from Fusilier Rigby's widow, Rebecca, who told the court: "I know my son will grow up and see images of his dad that no son should have to endure.
Ms Rigby said that she had accepted her husband would be at risk serving in Afghanistan, but not in Britain, where he was based when he died.
"We both talked about the dangers of Afghanistan and braced ourselves for it," she said. "You do not expect to see this on the streets of the UK."
The court also heard from David Gottlieb, representing Adebolajo, who warned that a whole-life term was "likely to create a martyr". He said he was not someone who is "incapable of change", adding: "He should not in these circumstances be deprived of any hope of release."
Seeking leniency from the presiding judge, Adebowale's lawyer said his acts "were as a result of a psychiatric condition". He said that, while it was a "joint enterprise", the younger man played a lesser role in the offence.
WARNING: graphic footage
Mr Justice Sweeney had delayed today's sentencing hearing until after a key appeal court decision earlier this month, which found that whole-life terms can legally be used by UK judges.
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-Qa'ida.
He claimed that they were "soldiers of Allah" and had carried out the killing in front of horrified onlookers on 22 May 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."
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand