Home » Race » Woman who was dubbed the ‘Angel of Woolwich’ for confronting Lee Rigby’s Muslim killers is detained under Mental Health Act three days after ‘race rant at Tesco pharmacist’

Woman who was dubbed the ‘Angel of Woolwich’ for confronting Lee Rigby’s Muslim killers is detained under Mental Health Act three days after ‘race rant at Tesco pharmacist’

ingrid loyau-kennet_0011By MIA DE GRAAF 2 July 2014

 Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, 49, comforted Lee Rigby as he lay dying last May

Was praised by Prime Minister David Cameron for her actions in Woolwich

Last Friday ‘told black Tesco pharmacist to work in Nigeria not England’

On Monday police detained her under Mental Health Act, reports claimingrid loyau-kennet_0011

No one has been arrested and the investigation is currently ongoing


A woman dubbed the ‘Angel of Woolwich’ for confronting Lee Rigby’s two killers has been detained under the Mental Health Act after allegedly racially abusing a shop worker.

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett was praised by Prime Minister David Cameron for her actions outside Woolwich barracks in May last year.

But today it emerged the 49-year-old has been detained three days after an alleged race row and released into the care of the NHS.

‘Detained’: Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, who comforted Lee Rigby after his brutal attack last May, has allegedly been detained under the Mental Health Act after reports that she racially abused a black Tesco pharmacist in Cornwall.

Investigation: The Tesco in Helston, Cornwall, has admitted to being aware of the alleged incident last Friday. Police are investigating claims she was escorted from a Tesco in Helston, Cornwall, after a row with a black pharmacist last Friday.It is claimed she told the man he should not be allowed in England and should be working in Nigeria.

Tesco is said to have handed over CCTV footage to Devon and Cornwall Police.Now reports state that on Monday she was detained under the Mental Health Act.A spokesperson for Tesco 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.’

Police have only stated that inquiries are ongoing following an allegation of verbal racial abuse at the store. No one has been arrested or spoken to.

Police were called to the Bulwark Estate at around lunchtime on Monday, over concerns for the welfare of a woman – believed to be Ms Loyau-Kennet.

Officers have not confirmed that the two incidents are linked or involve Ms Loyau-Kennett.

A spokesman said only: ‘Following [Monday’s] incident a 49-year-old woman from Helston has been detained under the Mental Health Act to the Royal Cornwall Hospital and released into the care of the NHS.’

Ms Loyau-Kennett came in for national praise last May, after being among the first on the scene following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in a Woolwich street.

His killers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, have since been jailed over the killing.

Half-French Ms Loyau-Kennett, who has lived in Helston for six years and hopes to find work as a translator for a humanitarian organisation, had been returning home after a visit to the capital to see her children, Basil and Pawony Baradaran, when the drama unfolded.

The former cub scout and brownie leader reasoned with the men, attempting to calm the situation until police arrived.

Ms Loyau-Kennett became a national hero and last October received a Pride of Britain award for bravery, although she was unable to be honoured at the televised ceremony due to reporting restrictions in place at the time.

She was also awarded a Special Certificate of Exceptional Endeavour at the Cornish Gorsedh in Penryn last autumn.

However, locally she has been in dispute with neighbours after distributing leaflets calling on them to voice opposition to a £36,000 play park scheme in Bulwark Road; it has since been built.

Helston police were forced to step up patrols in the area following complaints of anti-social behaviour in Bulwark and Albion Road.

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, 49, became a national treasure after she intervened to help police who were called to the scene of the Lee Rigby killing in Woolwich, London, in May 2013.

Her actions led to a wave of praise throughout the country. The next day, David Cameron stood outside No  10 to salute her courage, while the French government recognised Ms Loyau-Kennett’s bravery with a medal.

But not everyone reacted positively to Ms Loyau-Kennett’s actions.

The half-French divorced mother-of-two, who was formerly a teacher, said the publicity made her a target of abuse from youngsters living on her housing estate in Helston, Cornwall.

She said they had picked on her since she moved to the area, due to her French accent, but the television appearances had made things worse.

In October 2013, a group of young boys began pelting her Ms Loyau-Kennett’s three-bedroom house, where she lives alone, with eggs and stones.

When she went outside to reprimand them, she claims police threatened to arrest her for breach of the peace.

Ms Loyau-Kennett said was so traumatised by the incident that she fainted and an ambulance had to be called, she said.

The cub leader and former Girl Guides leader was born and raised in France to an English mother and a French father.

She lived in New Zealand for seven years as well as Suffolk before settling in Cornwall seven years ago.

Mrs Loyau-Kennet, who is a practising Catholic, is a fervent royalist who says she has embraced her adopted home with a passion.

Politically, she previously described herself as ‘naturally right-wing’ and said she doesn’t ‘agree with the socialist thing’. She said she was proud that the country was led by David Cameron.

She has two children – Basil and Pawony, both in their 20s – who, at the time of the killing, shared a house with friends in Plumstead, South-East London.

She was travelling back from visiting her children when the incident unfolded.

Her grandfather, Basil Kennett, won the Distinguished Flying Cross in the Second World War.




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