The father of murdered soldier Lee Rigby has denounced the decision to give his son’s Islamist killers more than £200,000 in legal aid. Phil McClure said it was “disgusting” that extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale had been given so much for their three-month trial last year.
Yesterday, it emerged that Adebolajo had lost the first part of his appeal against the whole-life sentence he received for his part in Rigby’s murder. He had lodged his appeal before receiving his sentence, claiming that killing Rigby was a “military operation” and that he was a “soldier of Allah”.
Adebolajo has, however, renewed his appeal, which have to be heard again by a panel of Court of Appeal judges in London.
Accomplice Michael Adebowale, who was jailed for a minimum 45-year term, was also granted permission earlier this month to challenge his sentence. No date has yet been set for the hearing of his appeal.
The continuing appeals by the two extremists are likely to add significantly to the legal costs.
Adebowale and Adebolajo killed Fusilier Lee Ridgy on the streets of Woolwich, London last year by using their car to knock him down in broad daylight before hacking him to death in front of horrified onlookers.
Mr McClure told the Sun: “It’s disgusting. There wasn’t even a defence – they were on camera boasting about killing Lee. The system needs to change.”
MPs have now called on the Lord Chancellor to prevent further hopeless appeals by the two killers, accusing them of exploiting taxpayer-funded legal aid to grandstand.
Conservative MP Rob Wilson said: “This is about getting attention around the world for their vile deeds. I will be writing to the Lord Chancellor to see if there is any action we can take to stop these revolting people from abusing our system.”