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Man convicted of Lee Rigby murder admits assault on Broadmoor staff member

Michael Adebowale pleads guilty after punching healthcare assistant
Broadmoor Hospital

Michael Adebowale pleads guilty after punching healthcare assistant

One of the men convicted of murdering soldier Lee Rigby has admitted attacking a healthcare assistant in Broadmoor Hospital.

Michael Adebowale punched the staff member while being held in the secure hospital on 20 July last year.

After denying a more serious charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm, Mr Adebowale admitted the charge of assault causing actual bodily harm at Reading Crown Court today.

He was given an eight-month prison sentence, which will be served after his 45-year minimum term for the murder of Mr Rigby.

The consequences of Lee Rigbys murder

Mr Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo ran over Mr Rigby in London in May 2013 before stabbing him to death.

Mr Adebowale has spent three periods in Broadmoor since

Michael Adebowale pleads guilty after punching healthcare assistant


Broadmoor Hospital, where the assault took place. Picture: Barney Newman

One of the men convicted of murdering soldier Lee Rigby has admitted attacking a healthcare assistant in Broadmoor Hospital.

Michael Adebowale punched the staff member while being held in the secure hospital on 20 July last year.

After denying a more serious charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm, Mr Adebowale admitted the charge of assault causing actual bodily harm at Reading Crown Court today.

He was given an eight-month prison sentence, which will be served after his 45-year minimum term for the murder of Mr Rigby.

The consequences of Lee Rigby’s murder

Mr Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo ran over Mr Rigby in London in May 2013 before stabbing him to death.

Mr Adebowale has spent three periods in Broadmoor since his conviction, and is expected to spend the next ‘five or ten years’ at the hospital while being treated for paranoid schizophrenia, the court heard.

Prosecutor Sarah Whitehouse QC said the attack on the staff member was triggered after Mr Adebowale was asked to turn down the volume of a television he was playing music through.

CCTV footage showed Mr Adebowale approaching healthcare assistant Jason Taplin before punching him and knocking him to the ground.

Mr Adebowale ‘had a lapse in self-control’

Sasha Wass QC, defending, said Mr Adebowale was hearing voices telling him to attack Mr Taplin before the incident.

‘He is clearly unwell, he clearly had a lapse in self-control, and he regained his self-control and immediately showed his remorse by writing a letter to Mr Taplin,’ she said.

Ms Wass added that Mr Adebowale’s medication was not sufficient to deal with the psychotic state he experienced on 20 July and, as a result of that state, he struck Mr Taplin. 

‘Combination of the illness and stress’

Passing down the eight-month sentence, Mr Justice Jay accepted that Mr Adebowale had heard voices before the attack.

‘It was a combination of the illness and the stress that was working on your mind that I feel was another factor in your case,’ he said.

He added that Mr Taplin sustained a painful injury and that he hoped Mr Adebowale sincerely regretted that.

After serving his life sentence, Mr Adebowale will serve half of the eight-month prison sentence before being released on licence.


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