Lee Rigby murder: Michael Adebolajo was a 'good-natured' boy at school, says former headteacher


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The Independent Online

Michael Adebolajo, one of the two men convicted of the brutal murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby, was a “good-natured and easy-going boy” when he was at school, according to his former headteacher.

Adebolajo, 29, who attacked Fusilier Rigby on a street in Woolwich, South London, in May along with 22-year-old Michael Adebowale, was filmed brandishing a bloody meat cleaver and claiming he had carried out the murder in revenge for the killing of Muslims overseas by British troops.

However, former teachers at Marshalls Park School, in Romford, London, said he had been popular and had even been a prefect.

Headteacher Pam Mason told the Romford Recorder: “He was a good-natured and easy-going boy. Michael was liked by both staff and peers.

“He had a strong group of friends but he could mix well with others and he was popular and well liked across a wide range of students.

“Michael was bright and confident and had a good sense of humour.

“He had a good work ethic and gained the grades he needed to be accepted on to his chosen courses at Havering Sixth Form College. He enjoyed being at school.”

A former pupil at the school, who was a friend of Adebolajo’s younger brother, said: “He was a clever guy but he was cheeky. I’d never have seen him as a Muslim extremist.”

Adebolajo’s school friend Kirk Redpath joined the Army and was later killed in Iraq.

Adebolajo, who grew up a Christian but converted to Islam, and Adebowale, who had a history of mental illness, were convicted of Fusilier Rigby's murder last week.