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Lee Rigby Angel of Woolwich ‘faces racism probe’

Ingrid LoyauKennett talks to the media at the scene after Fusilier Rigbys murder. Picture: Getty Images

Ingrid LoyauKennett talks to the media at the scene after Fusilier Rigbys murder. Picture: Getty Images

  • by JANE BRADLEY
 

A WOMAN dubbed the “Angel of Woolwich” for confronting the killers of soldier Lee Rigby is facing a police investigation over an allegation of racial abuse.

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, 49, was praised by Prime Minister David Cameron for her actions shortly after Fusilier Rigby, 25, was killed near his barracks in Woolwich, London, in May last year.

But she is now under investigation following claims a Tesco worker was racially abused at a store in Helston, Cornwall, reports have claimed.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed the force was investigating an allegation of “verbal racist abuse” at the Tesco store on Friday.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We are aware of an incident which took place at our Helston store on Friday. Colleagues at the store are helping the police with their inquiries.”

Ms Loyau-Kennett, a Cub Scout leader, received national acclaim for calmly talking to armed Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale after they murdered Fusilier Rigby in the street. She was born in France but is reported to be half-Scottish.

She had been on holiday with relatives in France and was travelling to her home in Cornwall after visiting her children in London when her bus stopped at the scene of the Woolwich attack.

On the first anniversary of the killing, Ms Loyau-Kennett spoke at the scene where she had checked Fusilier Rigby’s pulse and confronted Adebowale.

She engaged him in conversation until shortly before the ­police arrived.

She said: “It has been a waste of three lives and, of course, a year on I still think about Lee Rigby’s mother losing a son. It’s a tragedy. I don’t have flashbacks but I have been very emotional lately.”

Adebolajo, 29, was given a whole life sentence, and Adebowale, 22, was told he must serve a minimum of 45 years, after the trial at the Old Bailey in February.

Following the attack on the solider, Mr Cameron heralded Mrs Loyau-Kennett as “brave” and added: “When told by the attacker he wanted to start a war in London, she replied, ‘You’re going to lose, it is only you versus many’. She spoke for us all.”

Since being thrust into the spotlight following the Rigby case, Ms Loyau-Kennett, who has two adult children to an Iranian father, has spoken out in the media about a number of issues, including the controversial “bedroom tax”, which she said had left her forced to live on £5 a day after her children left home and she was unable to find alternative accommodation.

She also last year claimed she had been threatened with arrest after confronting a group of youths who threw stones and eggs at her house.

Tens of thousands of people signed a petition to have Ms Loyau-Kennett, plus Amanda Donnelly and her daughter, Gemini Donnelly-Martin – who comforted the soldier as he lay on the ground – honoured with the George Medal.

 

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