Lee Rigby murder: Judge praises resilience of soldier's family torn apart by terrorism
Lee Rigby survived a tour of Afghanistan which left seven of his comrades dead before he returned to what his family believed was the comparative safety of London.
Fusilier Rigby, 25, who served as a machine gunner in Helmand province, had wanted to return to the country for another tour of duty but was talked out of it by the eldest of his four sisters, Sara. “He was quite upset. He wanted to go back to Afghanistan and he was going to request a post and I talked him out of it and now I wish I hadn’t,” she told ITV News.Although his first marriage to Rebecca broke down, he was a doting father to their two-year-old son Jack. He was engaged to Aimee West, whom he met through the army, and both women attended the trial of his killers.
He took up a recruiting post in 2011 and was based at the Tower of London. He was returning from duty to his barracks in Woolwich when he was killed. He was particularly close to his mother, Lyn, and a last text sent on Mother’s Day, said that she was a “one in a million mum”.
She had an inkling that he was the soldier at Woolwich as she watched the tragedy unfold on television, as he always called her after a military incident to put her mind at ease. This time the phone did not ring and Mrs Rigby got the dreaded knock of an unexpected visitor from the Ministry of Defence. “I opened the door and my world just crashed,” she said.
The judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, praised the family’s fortitude as they sat through three weeks of horrific evidence. “I would like to express my gratitude and admiration to the family of Lee Rigby who have sat in court with great dignity throughout what must have been harrowing evidence for them to hear,” he said.
“I’m extremely grateful to them and can only sympathise with what has happened to them.”
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit