In the aftermath of the Lee Rigby incident, television news companies took aerial shots of the scene. One could see from overhead where the Tigra ended up, and one could see the damage to it. One could see the rucksack sitting up beside the wall as it tapers to an end. One could see a large concentration of what was called Rigby’s blood, and this presumably marks Rigby’s approximate position because no testimony tells of him being moved anywhere else. We are able to see with this image, and others, how events ended up after Adebolajo and Adebowale struck Lee Rigby and crashed into the stanchion. But these snap-shots of the scene are not the only indicators available to us. There is plenty of photography and more importantly footage of Adebolajo and Adebowale after the crash. In their physical well being – whether they were injured or not – these two in themselves provided another snap-shot of how things ended up after the crash. All these “endings” should be directly relatable to the narrative, or to the events from which these “endings” transpired. Indeed, we should be able to relate “endings” to starting positions through the events – a formula for that would look like this: the start + the events = the ending. It looks over simplistic, but in fact the rule provides a very important logical guideline for examining the evidence.
As it happens, we know roughly what certain starting conditions and positions were before the Tigra impacted Rigby and hit the road sign stanchion. This information is available to us through the Shop Footage – but, again, this is not the only source. There is other information, that will be examined as it becomes relevant, that allows us to build a fuller picture of a scenario before the occurrence of events. So, having this picture, we should be able to relate how things ended up with how they started, and we would do this through understanding the events – or the narrative that was presented by the evidence that was considered in the trial proceedings.
Doing this involves the following ideas:
- The damage to the Tigra should be consistent with the speed and the material it impacted, and how it impacted it.
- The position of the Tigra in its final resting place should be feasible given the factors involved getting it there, and how any impact effected it.
- The final position of Lee Rigby and his possessions should be consistent with how he was flung from the car as it impacted him.
- The injuries to Lee Rigby caused by the strike should be consistent with the speed of the car, and the way it struck him.
Lee Rigby and the Tigra are not the only characters involved in these endings-versus-events tests. The two Michaels had a finishing state to do with being able to exit the vehicle and carry out a robust knife assault. They actually have a beginning position that yet needs to be proved – in other words, we need to show that they were actually in the car before it struck Lee Rigby. So, this list is not so much about whether or not the events were possible considering beginning and endings, but was it possible for the two Michaels to have done them.
- The injuries to the two Michaels should be consistent with the crash.
- Adebowale’s ability as a driver should be above the task of manoeuvring the vehicle in the way its ending position suggests it had to be manoeuvred.
- There should be evidence that links the two Michaels with possession of the vehicle before the accident.
- There should be evidence that links the two Michaels with possession of the car at the time of the incident – i.e. proof that they got out of the vehicle in its crashed state.
When we start to analyse all of this, it becomes clearer that there are obstacles in tracing starting conditions through the events to outcomes. There are holes in our knowledge, and these are examined more in the next chapter.