Rigby killers given £212k legal aid

Fusilier Lee Rigby was hacked to death by British Muslim converts Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in Woolwich, south-east London, on May 22 last year

Michael Adebolajo has renewed his applications to appeal over both his conviction and sentence for the murder of soldier Lee Rigby

First published in Sport © by

Soldier Lee Rigby's killers were handed more than £200,000 in taxpayer-funded financial support to pay their legal bills.

Fusilier Rigby's murder sparked shock across the country after he was mowed down with a car and then hacked to death by British Muslim converts Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in Woolwich, south-east London, on May 22 last year.

A Freedom of Information request by the Sun newspaper revealed that the extremists received a combined £212,613.32 in legal aid to cover solicitors and advocates fees and other disbursements.

The figures emerged as Adebolajo lost the first stage of his bid to challenge his conviction and sentence .

The Judicial Office confirmed that permission to appeal was refused by a judge who considered the case on the papers, but that Adebolajo has renewed both applications. This means that his applications will now be aired before a panel of Court of Appeal judges at a hearing in London.

Adebolajo, who was sentenced in February to a whole-life term, condemning him to die behind bars, received £1 38,803.96 in legal aid, according to Ministry of Justice figures.

Adebowale, 23, who was jailed for life with a minimum term of 45 years for his role in the murder, received £73,809.36. He has been given the go-ahead to challenge his sentence before Court of Appeal judges.

Adebolajo and Adebowale ran 25-year-old Fusilier Rigby down in a car before attacking him with a meat cleaver and knives in a frenzied attack.

The pair lay in wait near Woolwich Barracks and picked Fusilier Rigby to kill after assuming he was a soldier because he was wearing a Help for Heroes hooded top and carrying a camouflage rucksack.

After driving into him, the killers - who had armed themselves with eight knives, including a meat cleaver and a five-piece set bought by Adebolajo the previous day - butchered him in the street in broad daylight in front of horrified onlookers.

Both men were shot by police in dramatic scenes captured by CCTV.

They claimed they were "soldiers of Allah" and were motivated by the plight of Muslims abroad to carry out the killing.

Explaining his decision to give Adebolajo a whole-life term, trial judge Mr Justice Sweeney said the married 29-year-old, who has two children and four stepchildren, was the leader of the murderous plot and had "no real prospect of rehabilitation".

No date has yet been fixed for the hearing of Adebowale's appeal bid or the renewed applications by Adebolajo.

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