Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were found guilty
Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were found guilty of the muder of fusilier Lee Rigby in WoolwichReuters

The two men accused of murdering Fusilier Lee Rigby in broad daylight on the streets of Woolwich have been found guilty.

Michael Adebolajo, 29, and co-accused Michael Adebowale, 22, were found guilty of driving into solider as he made his way back to the barracks in southeast London before hacking him to death on 22 May.

The pair were found not guilty of attempted murder of a police officer who arrived at the scene.

The pair pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence during at an earlier hearing. A previous charge of conspiracy to murder a police officer was previously dropped.

The jury took just 90 minutes to find the pair guilty of Rigby's murder. Both men denied murdering Rigby. Adebolajo said he was acting as a "soldier of Allah". The judge made clear that this was not a defence in the eyes of the law.

Lee Rigby
Lee Rigby was killed as he walked back to his barracks in WoolwichMoD

The Muslim converts are now facing a life sentence for hitting the father-of-one with their car atb 40mph before using knives and meat cleaver to butcher him to death "like a piece of meat".

The pair then dragged his lifeless body into the middle of the road so horrified onlookers could see the crime they committed. The act was described as "inhumane" by the prosecution.

The pair then strayed at the scene of the killing for several minutes and waited for the police to arrive. Adebolajo was filmed with bloodied hands and armed with a meat cleaver explaining his actions.

He said: "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."

The jury heard the men chose to kill Rigby because he was "the first soldier they spotted".

After the guilty verdict was read out, Adebolajo could be seen smiling and kissing the Quran as he was led away from the docks.

Adebowale chose not to give defence during the trial.

woolwich mudrer
Scene from the day of the killing with Adabolajo and Adebowale on the groundMet Police

In his closing statement to the court, prosecutor Richard Whittam QC condemned the "barbarous and indefensible" actions by the pair.

The family of the murdered soldier said they were pleased with the verdict but "no amount of justice will bring Lee back".

His wife Rebecca Rigby said: "This has been the toughest time of our lives and no-one should have to go through what we have been through as a family.

"These people have taken away my baby's Dad but Lee's memory lives on through our son and we will never forget him.

"I now want to build a future for Jack and make him proud of his Dad like we all are."

One of the most savage offences ever

Asst comms Cressida Dick, of the head of the Met's Specialist Operations, said: "This horrific attack, which took place in broad daylight on the streets of London, shocked the country and was intended to divide communities. It had largely the opposite effect and has, in fact, brought people together.

"The court heard of extraordinary acts of courage and compassion from members of the public at the time of this terrifying and dreadful incident."

Sue Hemming, Head of Special Crime and Counter Terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, (CPS) said:

"The murder of Fusilier Rigby was brutal and its perpetrators carried out one of the most savage offences ever prosecuted by our counter terrorism lawyers.

"As a soldier, this young father had dedicated his life to keeping people safe, including from the threat of terrorism. That dedication to his country cost him his life and was in stark contrast to the appalling conduct and extremist views of the men who murdered him.

"The Crown Prosecution Service will be asking the court to find that this murder was motivated by terrorism when the defendants come to be sentenced, so that all options under counter terrorism legislation are available to the judge.

The pair will be sentenced at a later date.