Woolwich terror attack: Suspect Michael Adebowale in court over Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder

Woolwich suspect will appear in Westminster Magistrates' Court to face a charge of murder and of illegal possession of a firearm

One of the two men shot by armed police after Drummer Lee Rigby was hacked to death in Woolwich has been charged with his murder.

Michael Adebowale is appearing in Westminster Magistrates' Court this morning where he will face a charge of murder and of illegal possession of a firearm.

The decision to charge him, the day after he was discharged from hospital, was announced late tonight by the Crown Prosecution Service following discussions with anti-terrorist police.

Sue Hemming, head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division, said it had been agreed there was sufficient evidence to justify the charge.

“Following the release of Michael Adebowale from hospital, we have authorised the police to charge him with the murder of Drummer Rigby,” she said.

“We have also authorised police to charge him with possession of a firearm, contrary to section 16A of the Firearms Act 1968. There is sufficient evidence to prosecute Michael Adebowale and it is in the public interest to do so. He will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court tomorrow, Thursday 30 May.”

She added that as Adebowale has now been charged he “has a right to a fair trial” and as such she urged that nothing be reported that could prejudice the trial. Her warning was aimed as much as the new media, such as Twitter and Facebook, as traditional news outlets.

Michael Adebolajo, the other man shot by police on 22 May, remains in hospital and at least eight other people have been arrested as part of the inquiry. The CPS said it was continuing to advise police in relation to the suspects arrested during their investigation into Drummer Rigby's death.

The announcement of the first murder charge in relation to Drummer Rigby's death came just hours after the soldier's fiancée paid tribute to him as a “great man”.

In a short statement Aimee West said: “I am devastated by the loss of Lee who was a loving fiance. I am extremely proud of him and I am moved by all the flowers and tributes, and that he has been remembered by the nation as the great man that he was.”

As it was confirmed that he died of multiple stab wounds police made a fresh appeal for witnesses to come forward.

Commander Simon 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.

“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.“

It was also revealed that thepolice marksmen involved in shooting two suspects could be back on duty within weeks.

Chief Superintendent Alistair Sutherland 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.

An inquest into Drummer Rigby's death will be opened and adjourned on Friday.

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?