England

Woolwich murder: Petition calls for bravery award for women

Nearly 60,000 people have signed an online petition calling for three women to receive bravery awards following the death of Drummer Lee Rigby.

The rector of Woolwich, who started the petition on Friday, said Amanda Donnelly, her daughter Gemma Donnelly-Martin and Ingrid Loyau-Kennett showed "extraordinary humanity".

Two stayed with the soldier while the third faced an alleged attacker.

The Reverend Jesse van der Valk said they should receive the George Medal.

'Such horror'

Drummer Rigby, 25, was killed close to the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich on 22 May.

Ms Donnelly and Ms Donnelly-Martin insisted on being allowed to sit with him after he had been attacked.

Ms Loyau-Kennett, 48, from Helston, Cornwall, tried to reason with an alleged attacker.

Mr van der Valk, of St Mary Magdalene Church, said the three deserved the civilian bravery award because they "stood up to be counted in a very dangerous situation".

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ingrid Loyau-Kennett faced an alleged attacker as he stood holding a knife

He said: "These acts of extraordinary humanity in the face of such horror deserve to be recognised at the highest level."

Rev van der Valk said he planned to deliver the petition either to the Ministry of Defence or Downing Street.

Twelve people have been arrested over the death.

Two have been charged with murder, eight bailed and two released without charge.

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