Before proceeding into the meat of an investigation, we need to establish the identity and the whereabouts of all the witnesses of the attack in the scene of the crime, and how long they were present. Luckily, there is one set of footage that can help us do this – the Shop Footage. At the start of this video, we notice two men on the pavement outside the shop. One is Ibrahim Elidemir and the other is Saraj Miah; shopkeeper and customer respectively. Saraj Miah is the man shown in Fig. 27 wearing a skull cap – he has been described in at least one place as “wearing a white prayer cap and smoking a cigarette”. And, this particular man must be Miah and not Ibrahim Elidemir because of the way he is looking down Artillery Place just before Rigby is struck – Elidemir’s testimony implies that he didn’t see the collision; his account, as far it can be discovered, commences at the point he first sees the body in the place in which it came to rest. Miah, on the other hand, tells of seeing the impact between the Tigra and Rigby.
The traffic lights across Artillery Place and Wellington Street have been green for perhaps 26 seconds (calculated from the footage available to us). Traffic is stopped from the north or south by dint of the red lights across John Wilson Street. There is no more traffic from Rectory Place or Artillery Place for the next 24 seconds until the timestamp shows 13:26:00. The only traffic that travels that road in the duration is from Wellington Street. It includes the Tigra that will hit Rigby – closely followed by two other cars.
As it happens, the footage is interrupted at the time mentioned above – at least as far as the public is concerned. When it was shown to the jury, it continued so that they could witness the striking of Lee Rigby with the Tigra – so we are told. As it is presented to the public, it halts just moments before this happens with the Tigra out of its proper lane and Rigby in the road. When the footage resumes, there is no sign of the Tigra or Rigby. The timestamp indicates the time is 13:26:08. The car that was following the Tigra is very likely the same that is now shown parking by the access road to the barracks – this could be the car of John Power, a named witness in the trial who was described as a cab driver carrying a fare. The blue car next to the three bollards on the other side of the road has been identified as belonging to Amanda Bailey – a pivotal witness named in the trial. As the footage is restarting, Bailey’s car, supposedly a Peugeot 206, is not yet parked but instead is slowing to a halt. More traffic enters the scene as the footage continues.
At 13:26:10/11, a green turquoise Vauxhall van comes along Artillery Place in the direction of the junction at the bottom of the road. This could very well be Thomas Seymour, a council electrician named as a witness, because his vehicle looks incredibly like one belonging to Greenwich Council. Seymour doesn’t stop, but instead goes to overtake Bailey – who herself moves away at the same time: 13:26:13. So with Bailey in front of Seymour, they both drive down to the traffic lights, which are turning red as they approach. Although other men have now joined him and Saraj Miah, at 13:26:21 Ibrahim Elidemir returns into his shop; Miah remains on the pavement, but never ventures too far down the road. At 13:26:30, a red car enters the scene from Artillery Place, and it very likely belongs to Gill Hucks, who is supposedly driving herself and passenger Gary Perkins in a red Kia Picanto. Both of these were witnesses at trial – Gary Perkins would appear in person. It pulls up behind a bus, which has preceded it into the scene and sits behind Seymour in the queue at the lights. Hucks is approximately level with the scene of the supposed crash.
Of course, because the John Wilson traffic lights are now green, the traffic that has been waiting there starts to move, and some turns into Artillery Place. The car that probably belongs to John Power moves on as this traffic approaches him (time: 13:26:30). Note that this is the first traffic to come along Artillery Place in this direction for some 40 seconds since Power himself did. At 13:26:44 the door of the driver’s side of the red car opens, and the driver gets out; however, this character, supposedly Hicks, has a change of mind, and climbs back aboard by 13:26:50. This might have something to do with whatever is going happening on the pavement – it might have something to do with the fact that the lights have also changed. The traffic in front of the red car, including those of Bailey and Seymour, pulls out of Artillery Place. Hicks’ car, however, does not follow after all, but sits where it first pulled up with hazard lights flashing.
At 13:27:11, another car comes from the west. This could be the car containing James Heneghan and Cheralee Armstrong – although there is another possibility which is explored below. Their car is meant to be a Citroen C3, but this car does not look like what the author believes to be one of those. It parks behind the Picanto at 13:27:17, and the two cars remain, passed by a very few cars and not much else appearing to happen, until at 13:27:43, the Picanto pulls down the road a little to park next to the lamp post. All this while, traffic comes from both directions along Artillery Road – some of it having to overtake the two stationary cars. At 13:27:56, Saraj Miah crosses over the road to the barracks side, and is seen no more. It is at this point that there is a different dynamic with a small flurry of activity involving pedestrians, none of them named witnesses, and Adebolajo. The scene is pictured in Fig. 31. The only thing to say about it at this stage is that it might have caused the silver car to set off down the road again.
By this time, the traffic lights have changed again, and cars are streaming along John Wilson. There is a queue at the end of Artillery Place, and the silver car can be seen aside the Picanto at 13:28:21 to try and get back in lane in Fig. 32. This is also the moment when the car being driven by Michelle Nimmo, in which she was also carrying her mother, Tina (and there is also apparently a baby, but this gets overlooked sometimes), comes to a halt past the barracks access road opposite Rectory Place. This car, a black Vauxhall Astra, came into view at the bottom of artillery place at 13:28:12, and turned in from John Wilson Street south. At this point, it is safe to say that the traffic in the road is as busy as it has ever been witnessed in the footage so far.
At 13:28:33, the line of cars at the bottom of Artillery Place starts to move as the traffic lights turn green. Hucks remains stationary once again, and the silver car pulls in front as the traffic dissipates in front of her. At 13:28:54, Hucks moves her car forward once more to stop again significantly further down the road in terms of the crashed Tigra staging area, but actually behind the silver car which hadn’t followed the queue through the traffic lights. These are the final positions when the footage ends.
To clarify the whereabouts of James Henegan and Cheralee Armstrong, he was driving her in a silver Citroen C3, which is more likely to have been a car that turned up Rectory Place, after having come upwards along Artillery Place, as the timestamp in the video showed 13:26:40 (see Fig. 34). It is here that Heneghan may very well have come across another witness, Graham Wilders – at least as suggested to us by Wilders’ never-very-clear accounts offered to corporate-media on the day. Wilders reports that as he was walking up Rectory Place he came across a little silver car, the driver of which was a fellow who got out to shout out “phone the police”. The story that Wilders tells about the driver of that car fleeing when a gun was produced by Michael Adebolajo corroborates what James Heneghan reported as being his own experience. We can be pretty certain that James Heneghan turned up Rectory Place.
The placing of the witnesses has been done here by combining two sets of data; the first, of course, is where the testimonies place the witnesses – who they are in the footage can be extrapolated. The second set of data is a list that describes the vehicle ownership of the witnesses – the author could only find this in one place on the internet, and in a regional newspaper report (the Yorkshire Post).
Additionally, three of the witnesses here mentioned appeared in person at court, and were pictured in the corporate-media either arriving at or leaving their appointment: Tina Nimmo, James Heneghan, and Gary Perkins. Tina Nimmo appeared in a television interview with her daughter Michelle, and so we also know what she looked like without having to hunt out Facebook accounts, etc.
Finally something must be said about the strange case of Amanda Bailey’s approach to Artillery Place. This is what was reported in at least one report we know about:
Amanda Bailey was driving down the hill after an appointment at her son’s school when the Tigra cut across in front of her and accelerate into Lee Rigby.
Lee Rigby murder trial recap: Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale accused of Woolwich soldier murder; Paul Cockerton; 29 November 2013.
However, reporting by ITN at the time of the trial tells a different story. This has her driving up Rectory Place, and the image in Fig. 35 is from a news report about Bailey showing what would have been her point of view as she approached the junction. Obviously, this doesn’t comply with what she said in her witness statement according to the Mail. What is the truth of the matter? Is it that ITN apparently didn’t care about getting it right – it just wanted to make her story more credible to its immediate audience? Or is it because the Mail journalist thought that could invent things and no one would care or notice. This is an illustration of what we are up against.