Radio Sandwell News

Woolwich murder suspect Michael Adebowale in court

2013-05-30 22:09:06

Michael Adebowale

A man has appeared in court charged with murdering soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south-east London.

A handcuffed Michael Adebowale, 22, spoke only to confirm his name and address during the short hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

He was remanded in custody and will appear at the Old Bailey on Monday.

Mr Adebowale was charged after spending six days in hospital, having been shot by police after the attack on 22 May. A second suspect remains under arrest.

Jane Peel

Courtroom One at Westminster
Magistrates' Court is a modern, bright
and spacious space. The glass-fronted
dock is large enough to accommodate
several suspects.

This morning at around 10:30 BST, for
a hearing lasting no more than four
minutes, there was just one defendant
in the dock, flanked by two police
officers in plain clothes. Two uniformed
security guards were also in the dock.

Michael Adebowale was brought in with
his hands cuffed in front of him. Walking
with a slight limp, he was wearing white
baggy trousers and a grey sweatshirt.

At one stage he glanced towards the 40
or so journalists who had filled the press
seats and the public gallery. Mostly,
though, he stared straight ahead,

The only word he spoke was "yes", when
his name, address and date of birth was
put to him.

"There's no need to stand," the Chief
Magistrate, Howard Riddle said to him.
"I understand you've been injured."

With that, Michael Adebowale was
remanded in custody and the hearing
was over.

An hour later, the defendant left the court,
driven away in a dark blue police van.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, who is being treated in hospital, was also shot by armed police at the time he was arrested.

On Wednesday, a post-mortem examination found that Drummer Rigby, 25, died of "multiple incised wounds" after the attack on a street in Woolwich, close to the barracks where he was based.

Tight security

Mr Adebowale, who has also been charged with possession of a firearm - a 9.4mm KNIL Model 91 revolver - appeared in court with a bandaged right hand and flanked by police officers.

He limped as he approached his position in the glass dock, holding his right hand close to his body.

Wearing a grey, long-sleeved top, he was told he did not need to stand up in the dock because of his injuries.

Bethan David, specialist prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service counter-terrorism division, told the court the charges fell under the jurisdiction of terrorism legislation.

Mr Adebowale, from Greenwich, had arrived at the court earlier in an escorted police van amid tight security.

Both Mr Adebowale and Mr Adebolajo were filmed and photographed by witnesses following the attack, which took place on a busy street during the afternoon.

Thousands of flowers have been laid at the scene of the killing by members of the public in honour of Drummer Rigby.

An inquest into his death will be formally opened at Southwark Coroner's Court on Friday.

Police have arrested eight other people in connection with the investigation so far; six of these have been bailed and two released without charge.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police has told the BNP it will not be able to hold a planned march from Woolwich Barracks to the Lewisham Islamic Centre, due to concerns it could result in "serious disorder".

Commander Simon Letchford said: "Such an evocative mix of views being expressed in communities still hurting from Lee's murder could have resulted in ugly scenes on our streets."

Instead, the BNP will be allowed to march from outside the Houses of Parliament to the Cenotaph in Whitehall between 13:00 and 16:00 BST on Saturday 1 June.


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