Lee Rigby's mum pays tribute to 3 'angels' who tried to save him
Lee Rigby's mum has paid tribute to the soldier and to the three women who tried to help her son in his last moments on the anniversary of his death. Lyn Rigby thanked the 'angels of Woolwich' for their heroism on the tragic day on May 22, 2013.
Lee was murdered by two extremists when he was returning home to Woolwich Barracks, South East London, ten years ago today. Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale attempted to behead Lee with meat cleavers and knives before being confronted by the three women.
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Amanda Donnelly wrapped her arms around Lee as he lay on the ground to try and bring him some comfort, whilst Tina Nimmo protected them from traffic. Ingrid Loyau-Kennett was on a bus when it happened but got off to confront the two killers for 10 minutes until police arrived.
'They put themselves in terrible danger because they wanted to help a stranger in need'
Lyn told The Mirror: “The Angels of Woolwich stepped up for my son in a way I will never be able to repay. It should have been me that was there to protect him, to comfort him in his last moments, but I knew nothing about Lee’s murder until later.“
"These women are incredible and I will remain in their debt for the rest of my life. They put themselves in terrible danger because they wanted to help a stranger in need. That takes enormous guts and its shows how very special they are.
“They all just rushed in on instinct – a mother’s instinct that drove them to protect a young man in desperate need. Their humanity is everything.”
Tina died on Friday, May 19, 2023, following an illness and Lyn paid tribute to her. She said: “Tina was an exceptional woman, brave and fearless, and she became a good friend. The horror of that day really affected Tina yet she always said she would do the same again in a flash. My heart goes out to her family at her sad loss, and I hope she rests in eternal peace.”
Recounting the events of the horrific day Amanda, 54, insisted she would do the same again. She said: “I’m a mum with children and no one should be left to die in the street in such an undignified manner.
“It was a truly horrendous day. Witnessing something so violent is not something you can ever forget. But what I have suffered is nothing compared to what Lee’s family have been through.”
Lyn remembers being overwhelmed when she met Amanda. She said: “I gave her the biggest hug and no words were necessary. We just held each other and cried. She was just so full of love and warmth.
“I will be forever grateful that it was this remarkable woman who was with Lee at the end. Today we will celebrate Lee’s life 10 years on. He will never be forgotten, and neither will the amazing women who were there for him."
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