For our purposes, the knife attack phase of the incident can be described as being from the time Adebolajo and Adebowale personally physically attacked Rigby, until the time Amanda and Gemini Donnelly entered the scene. At that point the next phase of the incident, the Woolwich Angel or waiting period, begins. During this knife attack phase, Lee Rigby was supposedly assailed most brutally by Adebolajo and Adebowale who were using knives to inflict serious wounding – and indeed to kill him. Several people travelling past in their cars stopped at this point, or reported seeing the attack, and the two Michaels even scared some of them off by waving a weapon, a hand gun, at them. Eventually, Rigby was dragged out into the road, which, so we are to believe, caused a Number 53 bus to stop at the foot of Artillery Place, and a white lorry to stop across Rectory Place.
If we consider the phase as a whole, these three elements represent some of the principle “endings” – the location of Lee Rigby’s body, the Number 53 blocking the bottom of the road, the white lorry blocking the top of the road. These elements are important because they describe the extent of the street scene stage on which the next phase is played out, and they apparently provide an explanation as to why through traffic stopped and this space to act in existed. It is very important to understand whether or not this stage could have been created organically. If we find that it could not have, or that it should not really have happened, then it is another indication of that conspiracy to frame Adebowale and Adebolajo.
There are other “endings” that are not so obvious; by now in the attack, Lee Rigby had also collected stab wounds to his body. We also need to inspect Adebolajo and Adebowale – they should have created an ending to do with a change in the state of their clothes and appearance – i.e. they should have been exposed to a lot of blood. As the narrative of this stage is mostly carried by witness testimony, we need to confirm the “ending” positions of several witnesses who gave evidence at trial. These endings are slightly different in that they aren’t sustained during the whole of the phase. Instead what they are is the locations from which the witnesses claimed to observe the events they spoke of. These need to be confirmed, and this can be done in most cases by looking at video evidence. Then we need to be able to understand if it was possible, from that perspective, to have seen what was claimed.
Getting down to brass tacks, we could list the endings as follows:
- The state of the two Michaels in terms of being covered with Lee Rigby’s blood and gore.
- Knives in situ with evidence of being used in an attack on Lee Rigby attached to them.
- The injuries to Lee Rigby.
- The position of Lee Rigby in the road.
- Vehicles that stopped on the scene because of the actions of the attackers.
- Other matter in the scene that indicates an attack has taken place.
- Witnesses, either in vehicles or on foot, being affected to stop going about their business because of the actions of the attackers, and remaining long enough to witness the actions.
So the ideas that we are interested in here are:
- Lee Rigby’s injuries should be consistent with death by knife attack.
- Rigby’s blade wounds and the resultant bleeding visible in the video should be consistent with the coroner’s report.
- How the attack took place (as suggested by the injuries) should be consistent with witness testimony.
- It should be feasible to link the two Michaels to the attack by the number and state of the knives found and seen in their possession.
- The human material residue left upon the two Michaels should be feasible given the injuries to Rigby as seen on video and as reckoned by the coroner.
- The human material residue left on the scene should be feasible given the injuries as seen on video and as reckoned by the coroner.
- Witness statements should be corroborated by other witnesses and by the video evidence which documents their presence on the scene.
- The presence of the white lorry and Number 53 bus, and any other traffic stopping unusually during the course of the assault, should be explainable as a consequence of the attack.
This part of the book is about trying to reconcile the events and endings that are raised in the above list; each chapter will be organised to deal with groupings of related items. Naturally, before that we’ll examine the evidence that was made available to the court, as far as we know, and decide if processed the information so that it satisfactorily address the issues we have identified here. In Part Two a new line of defence was introduced – that Adebolajo and Adebowale had been framed. It was also hinted at that they somehow were complicit to it – as strange as it may sound – and that is something that will be developed in this part of the book.