Rigby killers spark 'mayhem', red carpet for Merkel and a One Direction soccer debut

Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Michael Adebolajo, left, and Michael Adebowale were sentenced in their absence following a scuffle in the dock.

Violent scenes at the Old Bailey - where the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby were sentenced - are depicted in court drawings in the Times.

One shows court officers carrying Michael Adebolajo from the dock before he was given a whole-life sentence for his part in hacking to death the soldier as he approached Woolwich barracks in south London.

It was, says the Daily Telegraph, a "final frenzy of violence" for Adebolajo and accomplice Michael Adebowale, sparked when the judge told them they were guilty of a "betrayal of Islam".

The Daily Mail prints the victim impact statement of the soldier's widow, which says: "My son will grow up and see images of his dad that no son should ever have to endure". Meanwhile, the Sun's Paul Keaveny hears from the victim's mother, who describes how she silently spoke to her son - telling him "justice has been done" - as she watched his killers being sentenced.

The drama outside court, where far-right protesters paraded makeshift gallows, is pictured on the Daily Star's front page. Its editorial column suggests: "There are days in our history when bringing back the death penalty seems like a good idea."

However, the Daily Mirror opposes capital punishment, pointing out that - in this case - it would have "granted the martyrdom the Islamists desired". It adds: "The [court's] sentences will be welcomed by law-abiding members of every community."

To Buy or Not Be Able To Buy

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House prices will rise by 7% this year, with the market again particularly buoyant in south-east England, according to a poll quoted in the Daily Express.

Rising prices - over decades - have resulted in young families being priced out, says the Daily Telegraph. It describes the end of former PM Margaret Thatcher's "home-owner revolution", noting that the number of people living in private rentals has outstripped social housing for the first time.

Home ownership is at its lowest level for 25 years, reports the Guardian. Its personal finance editor Patrick Collinson says the roots of the trend lie in a 1988 "bonfire of regulations" which tore up rules on rents, creating "widespread freedoms for landlords" and sparking the "buy-to-let boom".

For the Financial Times, this private rental surge has had a knock-on effect: a quarter of the tenants - numbering almost a million households - are subsidised by social welfare, causing the overall housing benefit bill to rise from £9.7bn in 2001 to £21.1bn last year.

Despite this, a third of privately rented homes are in poor condition, the paper adds.

'Red-carpet treatment'

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Many papers look ahead to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to the UK, with the Guardian noting she will be "accorded almost every privilege" including tea with the Queen, lunch at No 10 and the chance to address both Houses of Parliament.

The Daily Telegraph says she will "invoke the memory of the two world wars" to argue that the EU has helped end divisions on the continent. But it's a less united Europe the Daily Express has in mind, suggesting that Mrs Merkel will "offer David Cameron the chance to exempt Britain from some European Union laws".

The Telegraph agrees that in some quarters "there is a growing vision of a nation that is part of the EU but which enjoys a status that serves its own interests". But it says Germany would "doubtless disapprove" and suggests Mr Cameron has not laid out exactly what he wants.

The Times says the German chancellor is sympathetic to demands for national parliaments to be granted more power but agrees: "Mrs Merkel needs to know what Britain really wants: to be part of a reform axis inside the EU or to find a role outside."

In Mrs Merkel, the prime minister has a "potentially powerful ally", says the Guardian. "Mrs Merkel is crucial to his plan to escape from a European trap of his own devising," it says, saying Mr Cameron's pledge to renegotiate the terms of the UK's relationship with Brussels and then put them to an in-out referendum looks "increasingly foolhardy".

Still, the Independent quotes German sources warning that the UK should not expect a "bag of presents". Its cartoonist Dave Brown has no doubt as to who has the upper hand, picturing a giant Mrs Merkel looming over a tiny David Cameron, standing on the red carpet rolled out in Downing Street.

Adams, in the Telegraph, paints a similar picture, showing Mrs Merkel rolling a blue and gold-starred European carpet over Mr Cameron's red one, covering up markings reading: "EU reform".

His colleague Matt takes a different approach, picturing a UK negotiator passing the following advice to a colleague: "Whatever you do, don't agree to settle this with a penalty shoot-out."

A Roy of the Rovers story

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Rarely can Doncaster Rovers have attracted such attention in the news pages of the national press - especially for a reserve match - but the appearance of One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson makes headlines.

For the Daily Mirror, it's a "Louis of the Rovers" story, straight from the pages of a comic book: "More than 5,000 fans flocked to watch the crooner, 22, take to the footie pitch for his beloved team's reserves, including an army of screaming teenage girls. They flew in from as far as Mexico and the US for the league clash."

The Daily Telegraph dispatched Jim White to sample the atmosphere and he found the noise to be "the most cacophonous to envelop a football stadium since the vuvuzelas of the South Africa World Cup". Describing Tomlinson's 64th-minute introduction as a substitute, he says: "A squeal erupted around the Keepmoat Stadium of such an intense pitch it might well have brought down any passing light aircraft."

The Sun runs through other footballing musicians, remembering Julio Iglesias as a young goalkeeper for Real Madrid, Johnny Marr - once of The Smiths - having trials for Manchester City and Des O'Connor turning out for Northampton Town.

But it's none-too-kind to Tomlinson, chanting its headline: "Lou are ya?" It's reporter Felix Allen says: "He had control of the ball for about a minute in all - but spent twice as long keeping his hair out of his eyes."

Despite regularly performing in front of thousands of fans, the star admitted to local paper, the Doncaster Free Press, that he was nervous before the match. Even so, it seems he was as worried about "the stick" he might get from his new teammates.

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