One of the crazed radicalists who murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby in  Woolwich is seeking compensation after he lost two front teeth when he was restrained by prison officers.

Michael Adebolajo claimed five prison officers assaulted him at London’s high-security Belmarsh prison two years ago, but they were cleared of blame.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said it would “robustly defend” the claim.

Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale are serving life for killing Fusilier Rigby near a London barracks in May 2013.

The Sun newspaper, which first reported the story, said the size of the compensation claim against the Prison Service was not known.

The Prisoners’ Advice Service said it would be difficult to estimate a figure for compensation as the majority of cases were dismissed or settled out of court.

Judicial guidelines suggest awards for the loss of two front teeth are between £3,000 and £5,500 but figures can increase depending on the extent of the injury and treatment needed.

Adebolajo, 32, lost his teeth while he was being held at Belmarsh on remand after the killing near Woolwich barracks, and claimed he had been assaulted by the prison officers.

The officers were suspended from work, but were later told they had no case to answer.

The Prison Officers’ Association insisted only approved techniques had been used in restraining Adebalajo.

An MoJ spokesman said there had been a police investigation into the incident and no charges had been brought against members of staff.

“The public will be rightly outraged at the thought of this man receiving compensation from the taxpayer and we robustly defend claims made against the Prison Service,” he said.

The MoJ said it had successfully defended two-thirds of prisoner claims over the last three years.

Prisoners only have limited access to any money they might claim while they are in prison. Limits are set depending on behaviour and money can only be spent in the prison shop.

Fusilier Lee Rigby
Image captionFather-of-one Lee Rigby served with Second Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

At Adebolajo’s trial, the court heard he and Adebowale hit Fusilier Rigby, a 25-year-old father of one, with a car, before dragging him into the road and attempting to decapitate him with a meat cleaver.

Mobile phone footage showed Adebolajo with bloodied hands clutching a knife and a meat cleaver moments after the attack.

Adebolajo had claimed he was a “soldier of Allah” and the killing was an act of war.

He was sentenced to a whole-life jail term for the murder, while Adebowale was sentenced to life with a minimum 45 years.

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