SOLDIER LEE Rigby’s killers were handed more than £200,000 in taxpayer-funded financial support to pay their legal bills.
The murder of Fusilier Rigby, whose widow, Rebecca, is from Halifax, 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 a national 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 £138,803.96 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 after lying in wait near Woolwich Barracks. They picked Fusilier Rigby to kill after assuming he was a soldier as he was wearing a Help for Heroes hooded top and carrying a camouflage rucksack.