The mother of murdered Lee Rigby says her son can 'rest in peace' as his killers begin life jail terms

Lyn Rigby said Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale's sentences brought her 'comfort' but the 'pain goes on'

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The Independent Online

The mother of murdered Lee Rigby, whose killers were jailed for life on Wednesday, has said that her son can now “rest in peace”.

Lyn Rigby, 47, said she spoke to her son as she watched Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale being sentenced in court.

She told  The Sun: "I told Lee, 'It’s time for you to finally rest in peace my beautiful son. Justice has been done and sleep well until we meet again'."

Adebolajo, 29 and Adebowale, 22 were sentenced to a whole-life and a life sentence with a minimum of 45 years respectively.

The pair had to be dragged from the dock at the Old Bailey prior to the sentencing after they fought with guards and shouted in defiance.

Ms Rigby, of Middleton, Manchester, said she was satisfied with Mr Justice Sweeney’s decision.

"These sentences bring me comfort to know Lee will suffer no more – even though our pain goes on," she told  The Sun.

She said that she could never forgive her son’s killers and that her hatred for them "burns my soul".

"When they took my son’s life they ended mine too," she said.

Adebolajo and Adebowale had been found guilty in December of killing the 25-year-old Fusilier as he walked back to the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, south-east London, on 22 May last year.

They drove into the young soldier at 40mph as he was crossing the road opposite the barracks. They then dragged his body into the middle of the road and attacked him with a meat cleaver, almost decapitating him as shocked members of the public looked on.

During their trial at the Old Bailey, 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 and that as a "soldier of Allah" he had carried out the killing as revenge for the treatment of Muslims abroad.

Ms Rigby said that the two men "deserve to die in prison".

"I wish both men had received whole-life tariffs but at least one will never be free again," she said.

Mr Justice Sweeney said that the pair had "gloried" in their barbaric act of violence. He described Adebolajo as the "leader of this joint enterprise" and said he had "no prospect of rehabilitation". He added that Adebowale had "played his part enthusiastically".

Ms Rigby said that the jail terms were a small comfort but that Lee’s family continued to serve "a life sentence of grief, pain and misery that means we will all spend the rest of our lives in a very dark place."

She added: "When I close my eyes the nightmares come to haunt me.

"Sometimes I think I am going to die of grief."