The British soldier killed by suspected Islamist terrorists on a south-east London street last week was first run over by them before being attacked with a cleaver and a knife,a British court heard on Friday.
The inquest into the death of Drummer Lee Rigby,25,was opened and adjourned at Southwark Coroner’s Court here today.
The police also made a further arrest in the case increasing the total number of people to be arrested to 11.
“On Wednesday May 22,at approximately 2.20 pm (BST),Lee was returning to barracks after a day working at the Tower of London.
“As he walked into Artillery Place (a road in Woolwich),a vehicle is seen to swerve into the carriageway on which he was walking and strike him. The two occupants of the vehicle then exit the vehicle and attack him with a cleaver and a knife,” Detective Chief Inspector Grant Mallon of Scotland Yard¿s Counter-Terrorism Command told the hearing.
They then dragged his lifeless body into the middle of the road,and encouraged passers-by to look at what they had done,he added.
Mallon said the soldier suffered “extensive and serious injuries” and investigations were continuing into those responsible.
Security at the court was beefed up for the inquest,which will seek to establish the circumstances of Rigby’s death without apportioning blame.
Following the brief hearing today,it was adjourned to a date yet to be confirmed as a result of ongoing police investigations.
The coroner’s office said that Lee Rigby was identified through his dental records.
A post-mortem examination had already found that he died from multiple cut and stab wounds.
Adjourning the inquest to a date to be fixed,deputy coroner Lorna Tagliavini said: “I would like to take this opportunity to give my personal condolences to all members of Lee Rigby’s family for their very sad loss”.
None of the soldier’s family attended today’s hearing but issued a statement urging calm.
“We would like to emphasise that Lee would not want people to use his name as an to carry out attacks against others. We would not wish any other families to go through this harrowing experience and appeal to everyone to keep calm and show their respect in a peaceful manner,” the statement read.
Meanwhile,police made a further arrest in the case on suspicion of illegal firearms supply.
The 42-year-old was held in north London this morning and is currently being questioned at a police station in south London,Scotland Yard said.
Searches are also being carried out at homes in north and east London as part of the ongoing investigation into the soldier’s death.
Michael Adebowale,22,has been charged with Lee Rigby’s murder and appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
A second suspect,Michael Adebolajo,28,remains under arrest at a London hospital where he is being treated.
Both men were shot by police at the scene of the incident before being arrested.