Lee Rigby murder probe hits Islington as police raid suspect’s father’s home

Armed police captured by one Twitter user following an arrest in St Paul's Road

Armed police captured by one Twitter user following an arrest in St Paul's Road - Credit: Archant

Anti-terrorist police probing the murder of soldier Lee Rigby hit the streets of Islington within days of his death after raiding one of the suspect’s father’s home – before dramatically arresting another man in the street.

Detectives were seen carrying evidence bags from a flat in Parkhurst Road, Holloway, where the Gazette understands Adeniyi Adebowale – father of alleged knife-wielding suspect Michael Adebowale – lived.

The raid took place the day after 25-year-old army drummer Mr Rigby was hacked to death in the middle of a Woolwich street, in south east London, last Wednesday afternoon.

Adebowale’s father, 52, was not arrested during the search, which has since finished, but his son remains injured in hospital after being shot by police at the scene of the slaying.

A Parkhurst Road neighbour, who wished not to be named, said: “The police raided the flat at 4am the day after Lee Rigby died. My mate was woken up by the armed police.

“The police have been taking stuff out of the flat and have been there for days.”

Just three days later witnesses told how St Paul’s Road, Highbury Grove, came “under siege” from balaclava-wearing, gun-brandishing police who pinned down a 22-year-old man in broad daylight while arresting him in the middle of the street.

Most Read

Scores of onlookers who were enjoying a Sunday lunch at the Alwyne Castle pub spoke of their “shock” as the drama unfolded before them at about 2.35pm.

One witness said: “They just came out of nowhere and without warning. At first I didn’t realise they were police because they were wearing plain clothes. But then when they got the dogs out I realised.

“The street just came under siege – there were about 10 of them – and they shouted orders at everyone not to use their mobile phones or they would take action if they did.

“About three officers then just pinned this black guy down in the street and put him in the back of the white van they were in. There was a car too, which was unmarked.”

Another witness added: “Everything just came to a standstill.

“We were just enjoying a lovely sunny afternoon and then all these armed police turned up and told us to freeze what we were doing.

“The whole thing lasted about 10 minutes. It’s just shocking really. You don’t expect it to happen in the streets in your neighbourhood.”

Police have since bailed the 22-year-old man, who was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder in connection with the death of army hero Mr Rigby.

Adebowale is believed to have had little contact with his father, a Nigerian, Christian immigrant who works at Nigerian High Commission. It is believed the alleged killer lived with his mother in Greenwich.