LIVE: 'A cowardly and callous murder' - trial of men accused of stabbing and mutilating Fusilier Lee Rigby starts

Bury Times: Court artist of of the two men accused of the murder of soldier Fusilier Lee Rigby, Michael Adebolajo (left) and Michael Adebowale (right) during their hearing at the Old Bailey. Picture by Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire Court artist of of the two men accused of the murder of soldier Fusilier Lee Rigby, Michael Adebolajo (left) and Michael Adebowale (right) during their hearing at the Old Bailey. Picture by Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

Soldier Lee Rigby was the victim of "a cowardly and callous murder" by two men who wanted witnesses to see "the consequence of their barbarous acts", a jury has heard.

The Fusilier was hit by a car and attacked with a knife and a meat cleaver as he walked back to Woolwich Barracks in south east London on May 22.

Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told jurors at the Old Bailey that Michael Adebolajo, aged 28, and Michael Adebowale, aged 22, drove a Vauxhall Tigra "straight at" him, at about 30mph to 40mph.

He said: "Both men then dragged his body into the middle of the road. They wanted members of the public to see the consequence of what can only be described as their barbarous acts.

"They had committed, you may think, a cowardly and callous murder by deliberately attacking an unarmed man in plain clothes from behind, using a vehicle as a weapon, and then they murdered him and mutilated his body with that meat cleaver and knives."

Adebolajo tried to decapitate the soldier while Adebowale stabbed and cut him, the jury heard.

Mr Whittam said: "They both attacked the motionless body of Lee Rigby. He was repeatedly stabbed and it appears it was Michael Adebolajo, the first defendant, who made a serious and almost successful attempt to decapitate Lee Rigby with multiple blows to his neck made with the meat cleaver.

"At the same time as Michael Adebolajo used the meat cleaver, Michael Adebowale was using a knife to stab and cut at Lee Rigby's body."

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