Chilling images capture moment one of Lee Rigby’s ‘killers calmly walked into Argos to buy a set of knives and sharpening kit – the day before soldier was hacked to death’
- Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale accused of ‘hacking him to death’
- CCTV footage shows Adebolajo buying knife set in branch of Argos
- Footage also shows car ‘circling’ Woolwich barracks at 1.30pm on May 22
- Drummer Rigby was knocked down and ‘almost decapitated’ at 2.30pm
- Witness Cheralee Armstrong yelled at pair to stop but got ‘blank expression’
- ‘They were mutilating the body, like they were trying to remove his organs’
- Adebolajo’s QC tells another emotional witness: ‘My client is very anxious for you to know there was nothing you could have done to stop it’
- His widow Rebecca Rigby runs from court in tears as his death is described
- Witnesses told court the men looked like they were ‘chopping a tree’
- Both deny Lee Rigby’s murder and conspiracy to murder a police officer
PUBLISHED: 15:37, 2 December 2013 |
These chilling pictures show one of the alleged murderers of Lee Rigby buying a set of knives and a sharpening kit the day before the soldier was murdered.
The images, taken from CCTV footage shown in court today, shows Michael Adebolajo, 28, buying a five-piece knife set costing £34.99 and a £9.99 knife sharpener kit from a branch of Argos in Lewisham, south-east London.
The footage also shows the blue Vauxhall Tigra that circled the area near his Woolwich Army barracks for an hour before the victim was ran down and hacked to death.
The car was captured on CCTV driving up and down Artillery Place from 1.30pm – the Fusilier died there at around 2.30pm.
The day before the murder Adebolajo was captured on CCTV at an Argos store in Lewisham, south east London, buying a five-piece knife set and a sharpener kit
The Vauxhall Tigra (bottom left) drives along Wellington Street, Woolwich, an hour before the murder
One of Lee Rigby’s killers had ‘pure evil’ in his ‘bulging eyes’ as he and an accomplice hacked him to death in the street outside his Woolwich barracks, a eyewitness told the Old Bailey today.
Cheralee Armstrong said Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, 22, attacked the 25-year-old soldier so violently she thought ‘they were trying to remove his organs’.
Drummer Rigby’s widow Rebecca left court in tears as jurors heard accounts from people who saw him run over and attacked with a meat cleaver and knives on May 22 this year.
Adebolajo enters Argos in Lewisham on May 21
The car was captured on CCTV driving up and down Artillery Place from 1.30pm – the Fusilier died there at around 2.30pm
Lee Rigby murder trial: Moments after crash captured on CCTV
Adebolajo at the Tesco’s Petrol Station in Connington Road, Lewisham, at 08.10am on May 22
Adebolajo returns and pays for petrol forty minutes later
Mother Miss Armstrong said in a statement the ‘man in the hat,’ who the Old Bailey heard was Adebolajo, had looked at her with a ‘blank expression’ after she watched him butcher the soldier.
She said Adebowale looked ‘mad like he’d escaped from a mental hospital’ and then dumped the soldier into the road like a ‘bag of rubbish.’
Miss Armstrong said at first she believed they were trying to help Drummer Rigby after a road accident, but then saw that they were stabbing his torso and hacking at his neck, the court heard.
‘They kept ramming knives into him,’ she said.
‘I could see the blades were covered in blood. It seemed the whole length of the blade seemed to go in.
‘It was like they were mutilating the body, like they were trying to remove his organs.’
In the dock: Michael Adebolajo, 28, left, and Michael Adebowale, right, listen to evidence on the second day of their trial where witnesses said they had looked ‘pure evil’ and ‘mad’ when they allegedly murdered Lee Rigby
Victim: Lee Rigby was run down by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in this Tigra after they had circled the area for a victim, the Old Bailey heard today
Bereft: Rebecca Rigby, left, the estranged wife of Lee Rigby fled the court in tears today. Aimee West, right, the fiancée of the fusilier was also in court
Last seen: Drummer Rigby was seen here getting off a DLR train at Woolwich Arsenal Station, just before he died on May 22
She described ‘hat man’ as having a 30 centimetre carving knife in his right hand and a ‘butcher’s meat cleaver’ in his left.
‘I shouted ‘they’re stabbing him, they’re killing him.’
‘I shouted to the two men “stop, stop”.
‘The man in the hat stared at me. His expression was blank. It was pure evil. His eyes were bulging. He didn’t say anything. And the other one looked mad like he’d escaped from a mental hospital.
Message: The jury have been shown this video where suspect Michael Adebolajo was shown with blood on his hands and holding a knife and a meat cleaver
‘I shouted “he’s got a gun”. I was scared. I thought I was going to die.
‘Then I heard another man shout “he’s got a gun, get in your car”.’
The witness said she then saw the defendants drag Mr Rigby’s body along the pavement and ‘toss it into the road like a bag of rubbish.’
Her partner James Henegan was in the car with her in Artillery Place, Woolwich, where the tragedy happened at around 2.20pm that afternoon.
He told the court it was the ‘most traumatic thing he had ever witnessed.’
David Gottlieb, for Adebolajo, said: ‘My client is very anxious for you to know there was nothing you could have done to stop it.’
At hearing this Mr Henegan appeared emotional and put his hands over his eyes.
After knocking him down Adebolajo hacked at his neck ‘like a butcher attacking a joint of meat’ while Adebowale stabbed him ’10 to 20 times in the chest and belly’, eyewitnesses said.
Setting out their movements on the day Lee Rigby died, the jury heard the suspects bought a parking ticket in Greenwich half an hour before the killing and a copy of the £1 ticket, which was due to expire at 2.53pm, was shown to the jury.
But by that time the car had crashed into a road sign after being used as a weapon to mow Mr Rigby down.
Emotional: Cheralee Armstrong and James Henegan (pictured outside court) witnessed Lee Rigby’s death and Adebolajo’s QC told him today: ‘My client is very anxious for you to know there was nothing you could have done to stop it’
The 25-year-old was then hacked to death with knives and a meat cleaver so viciously he was ‘almost decapitated’.
The day before the murder Adebolajo was captured on CCTV at an Argos store in Lewisham, south east London, buying a five-piece knife set costing £34.99 and a £9.99 knife sharpener kit.
Today the jury were shown clips from the CCTV footage of the pair stalking the area in their car before the murder.
Mr Whittam said it showed the movement of the defendants in Artillery Place.
He said: ‘They go past the scene at 1.30pm. The vehicle carries along Artillery Place, going alongside the barracks.’
He added around 1.50pm they are spotted again and said: ‘This is half an hour before the scene of the murder.’
Evidence: The two men accused of the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby, Michael Adebolajo (left) and Michael Adebowale (right) bought knives and petrol before murdering the soldier, the court heard today
Trial: The prosecution is setting out the case in the trial of two men accused of murdering Lee Rigby on May 22 this year
Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC read statements made by members of the public who saw the Fusilier’s alleged murder near Woolwich barracks in south east London on May 22.
Saraj Miah, who was seen in a CCTV clip talking with a local shopkeeper near the scene, said after Fusilier Rigby was run over, two armed men got out of the car. One of the two attackers pointed a gun at him when he told them not to kill the soldier.
He said: ‘I thought that the two black men with knives were going to kill him. I told them not to kill him. They did not listen to me.’
One attacker slashed Fusilier Rigby’s throat while the other stabbed him, the court heard.
‘The black man in the passenger seat with knives in both his hands stabbed the fallen man six times in his chest.’
He described the man who had been driving the car walking around ‘as if nothing had happened’.
Family: (Left to right) Lee Rigby’s mother Lyn Rigby, sister Sara McClure and fiancée Aimee West at the Old Bailey today.
Mr Miah said the two men then ‘threw the body on the left lane of the road’.
‘I was very shocked by the incident,’ he added. ‘I could not sleep for two weeks.’
Fusilier Rigby’s widow Rebecca left the oak-panelled courtroom in tears as the statements were read.
Shopkeeper Ibrahim Elidemir shut himself, his girlfriend and two customers inside his store when he saw one of the attackers brandishing a knife after the crash, the court heard.
In his statement, he said: ‘The incident has affected me very badly. It made me feel very sad. I was very frightened and very scared at the time.’
Adebolajo, 28, of Romford, east London, who has demanded to be known as Mujaahid Abu Hamza in court, and Adebowale, 22 from Greenwich, south east London, who calls himself Ismail Ibn Abdullah, deny Fusilier Rigby’s murder, attempting to murder a police officer and conspiracy to murder a police officer.
The trial continues.
‘It was like he was chopping a tree’: Witnesses describe seeing suspects trying to ‘hack off’ Lee Rigby’s head
Eye witnesses to the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby told of their shock and fear as he they saw him being hacked to death in the street, the Old Bailey heard today.
The 25-year-old soldier was allegedly murdered in broad daylight by self-confessed ‘Muslim extremist’ Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22.
Jurors heard the pair drove into Drummer Rigby as he crossed the road, attempted to decapitate him with a meat cleaver and dragged him into the middle of the road in front of members of the public.
One man who saw them hacking at his neck said it was like the killers were ‘chopping a tree’.
‘Brutal’: The two men accused of the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby, Michael Adebolajo (right) and Michael Adebowale (second right) hacked at Lee Rigby like ‘he was a tree’, witnesses said today.
Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC read out the statements of witnesses to the attack, including a taxi driver who was following the two killers in their Vauxhall Tigra.
‘When it crossed the central reservation it accelerated and veered diagonally across to the right, mounted the kerb and drove on the pavement. I saw a man being flipped into the air as he was hit,’ the unnamed witness said.
‘He stood by his head. His right hand was chopping at the man’s head with a small chopper or axe. the action was like chopping a tree. It was like when somebody slaps a person’s face repeatedly backwards and forwards.
Tragedy: Drummer Lee Rigby relaxing on leave from the Army in the year before his death, which was described in detail today.
‘Four or five seconds later the passenger got out of the passenger seat. I saw him making a thrusting motion in and out towards the man’s body.’
Amanda Bailey stopped her car next to the scene and tried to call 999 as the driver got out of the car.
‘I then saw the driver reach into his sweatshirt jacket. I thought he was reaching for a phone to call an ambulance but in was shocked when he pulled out a knife with a rectangular blade.
‘It was a cleaver about three inches wide. He was holding the cleaver in his right hand. He grabbed the young man with his hand and started hacking at his neck with the knife.
‘He was using a lot of force to hack at the young man’s neck. He was raising it up and bringing it down repeatedly.
‘I couldn’t take my eyes off what the driver was doing to the young man. It was just crazy. I was so shocked all I could do was sit there and stare at what was happening. He was determined and wasn’t going to stop. It was broad daylight and this man didn’t care who was there and who wasn’t there.
Thomas Seymour said he saw one of the attackers encouraging the other before they began hacking and stabbing at Lee Rigby.
He added: ‘I genuinely believed he was trying to cut the victim’s head off. I could not believe what I was seeing. Throughout both attacks I did not hear any conversation. due to the craziness of what was going on, I assumed the attack was gang or drug related’.
Grief: Flowers were left at the spot in Woolwich where Drummer Lee Rigby died on May 22 this year.
Shop customer Saraj Miah said in a statement that the car hit Lee Rigby with ‘extreme force.’
‘I told them: “Do not kill him” but they ignored me. The black man in passenger seat took out a gun and aimed it at me.’
Gill Hucks said in a statement: ‘I could not believe they were doing what they were doing in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the street.
‘He was cutting into his neck from ear to ear. Male on then dragged him in front of my car. He then flung the body on to the road. In my rear view mirror I saw a man approaching the attackers. The males threatened him and he left.
‘I had almost totally lost control and was screaming. I was shaking and very upset. Quite a crowd gathered and people filmed on their mobile phones. The men made no attempt to run from the scene.’
Adebolajo later told witnesses the attack was carried out in retaliation for British troops fighting in Afghanistan, adding: ‘These soldiers go to our land, kill our people – so an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth.’