Regina v Adebolajo and Another: CACD 3 Dec 2014

The defendants had been convicted of the brutal and public murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in London, and sentenced to whole life term for Adebolajo and 45 years for Adebowale. They now sought leave to appeal against conviction and sentence.
Held: The appeals failed. The Court recounted the events of the murder. Adebolajo argued that he was fighting a war; that it had been the law for centuries that the Crown had to prove that a murder was committed under the Sovereign’s peace; that did not include killing in the course of a war. The Crown, it was submitted, had to prove that Adebolajo was under ‘The Queen’s Peace’ and not at war with the Queen.
The two defendants had been convicted of the very public and brutal murder of a soldier Lee Rigby in a London street. Adebolajo appealed against his conviction, saying that he had believed himself to be an enemy combatant and that therefore the killing was not within the Queen’s Peace.
Held: The appeal failed: ‘The law is now clear. An offender can generally be tried for murder wherever committed if he is a British subject, or, if not a British subject, the murder was committed within England and Wales. The reference to ‘the Queen’s peace’, as originally dealt with in the cases to which we have referred, went essentially to jurisdiction. Although the Queen’s Peace may play some part still in the elements that have to be proved for murder as regards the status of the victim (and it is not necessary to examine or define the ambit of that), it can only go to the status of the victim; it has nothing whatsoever to do with the status of the killer.’
As to Adebowale, ‘there was no evidence that the mental illness had any role at all in Adebowale’s culpability. Nonetheless, we think that the judge was right to take into account the mental illness from which he had suffered thereafter, his symptoms at the time, his lesser role, the part he played and his youth. We consider that the judge fairly took all of those matters into account. ‘ The sentence for this barbaric crime remained appropriate.

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd LCJ, Hallet VP CACD LJ, Edis J
[2014] EWCA Crim 2779, [2014] WLR(D) 519
Bailii, WLRD
England and Wales
CitedRex -v William Sawyer 1815
(Old Bailey) The defendant was a British subject. He murdered another British subject, Harriet Gaskett, in Lisbon. He was found guilty of murder. The point was taken that, as the offence had been committed abroad, the indictment was not framed in a . .
CitedRegina v Serva and nine others 26-Jul-1845
The court considered the meaning of the phrase ”against the peace of the King’
Held: The phrase applies to the offender: it relates to his capacity to commit the crime. . .
CitedRegina v Page CMAC 1954
The defendant, a corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals had been tried and convicted by a Court Martial in Egypt for the murder of an Egyptian national in an Egyptian village. The issue in the appeal was whether a Court Martial had jurisdiction . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Criminal Sentencing., News

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.541555