The trial of Michael Adebowale & Michael Adebolajo, arrested for hacking soldier Lee Rigby to death, has begun.
Jurors in the trial of the two men accused of the soldier’s murder heard a number of eyewitness accounts, which described events in Woolwich on May 22 in graphic detail.
Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC said the defendants “wanted members of the public to see the consequence of what can only be described as their barbarous acts”.
He said that Amanda Bailey, who watched from inside her car as Drummer Rigby was attacked, recalled how one of the alleged killers “knelt down … and took hold of (the soldier’s) hair”.
Describing her account, he told the jury: “He then repeatedly hacked at the right side of his neck just below the jawline.
“As she put it, ‘I was so shocked that all I could do was sit there and stare at what was happening. I couldn’t believe what was going on.
“He was determined and he wasn’t going to stop. He didn’t care’.”
Thomas Seymour said he saw a man attack the neck of Drummer Rigby as he “remained motionless” on the ground.
The electrician “instantly believed that he was trying to cut the victim’s head off”, Mr Whittam told the Old Bailey.
The prosecutor said that another witness, Gary Perkins, had described the man as being like “a butcher attacking a joint of meat”.
The court also heard an account from Michell Nimmo, whose mother Tina tried to keep people back, warning them: “Go back, he’s got a gun, go back.”
Mr Whittam said that members of the public showed “bravery and decency” in the aftermath of the attack.
“Despite the abhorrence of the scene, one woman went to the lifeless body of Lee Rigby and stroked him to provide some comfort and humanity to what had unfolded,” he said.
“Others went to see if they could provide first aid.”
Adebolajo, 28, and Adebowale, 22, deny murdering Drummer Rigby, attempting to murder a police officer and conspiracy to murder a police officer.
The trial continues.