One of two Muslim converts jailed for killing British soldier Lee Rigby in broad daylight on a London street in 2013 is seeking compensation after losing two front teeth in a struggle with prison guards, the government confirmed Thursday.
The Ministry of Justice said it would “robustly” defend itself against claims brought by Michael Adebolajo, who says he was assaulted by five prison officers at London’s high-security Belmarsh jail two years ago.
The guards were suspended but later told they had no case to answer.
“The public will be rightly outraged at the thought of this man receiving compensation from the taxpayer and we robustly defend claims made against the Prison Service,” the ministry said in a statement.
The size of the compensation claim against the Prison Service has not been publicised, but media reports said it could be around £20,000 ($30,000, 27,000 euros).
The Prison Officers’ Association said at the time that the guards were merely restraining Adebolajo, and that they only use force “where necessary”.
Adebolajo, 32, and Michael Adebowale were found guilty of hacking Rigby to death in broad daylight near his barracks in Woolwich, southeast London.
Both are Muslim converts who were raised by Nigerian Christian families.
Adebolajo was sentenced to a whole-life jail term for the murder. Adebowale was jailed for life with a minimum 45 years.