The two men who murdered soldier Lee Rigby are being sentenced at the Old Bailey.

Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, ran the soldier down before hacking him to death in Woolwich last year.

The pair were convicted of the murder in December, but Mr Justice Sweeney delayed sentencing until after a key appeal court ruling last month that whole-life tariffs can be used by UK judges.

As sentencing began, Adebolajo refused to stand as his name was read out and Adebowale remained seated to confirm name.

Victim impact statements were read out to the court, including one from Lee’s widow. Rebecca Rigby.

“I was also suddenly living in the public gaze,” she said.

“I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything. I felt like I didn’t want to go on. I saw people nudging and looking at me if i walked down the street.

“I know my son will grow up and see images of his dad that no son should have to endure and there’s nothing I can do to change this.”

Adebolajo’s barrister, David Gottlieb, told the court: “However shocking and terrifying a crime, a whole-life term can never be justified when the full circumstances of the offence known at the time … show that the offender is not so deprived of all human dignity that he has no possibility of atonement in the future.”

He compared Adebolajo’s extremist views to “alcoholism” or a severe “psychiatric”  illness

“Whatever his expressed views or wishes, he’s not somebody who’s incapable of change,” he added.

Abbas Lakha, Adebowale’s defence barrister, said his client’s psychiatric condition should be taken into account in his sentencing.

He argued Adebowale played a “lesser role” in the killing and that he was a passenger in the car – which he said he did not know was going to be driven at Mr Rigby.

Heated protests took place outside the court, with one group heard chanting: “There’s only one Lee Rigby.”

During their trial, 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 Qaeda.

He claimed the pair were “soldiers of Allah” and had carried out the killing as revenge for abuse of Muslims abroad.

source: skynews