Finsbury Park terror attack: Darren Osborne guilty of murder
- Credit: Archant
Terrorist Darren Osborne has been found guilty of murder after carrying out the Finsbury Park terror attack.
The 48-year-old loner was intent on spilling as much blood as possible when he ploughed a hire van into worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road just after midnight on June 19. He killed 51-year-old Makram Ali and injured 12 others, some of whom suffered life-changing injuries.
A jury at Woolwich Crown Court took just an hour to convict the father-of-four of murder and attempted murder.
Osborne, who was seen blowing a kiss to angry bystanders after the attack, nodded and looked around the courtroom as the verdicts were read out today.
Part way through his trial, Osborne suddenly denied he had been driving the van at the moment of impact– saying it was a man called Dave.
The attacker said he had no idea Dave – one of his two made-up accomplices – intended to smash into a group of pedestrians, and believed they were on their way to a pub to meet a third co-conspirator, Terry.
But jurors agreed with prosecutors who dubbed his increasingly improbable version of events a “total fabrication” and “frankly absurd”.
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During the nine-day trial Osborne told the court he had wanted to kill senior Labour figures including leader Jeremy Corbyn and London mayor Sadiq Khan.
He also admitted he had initially hoped to “plough through” as many people as possible at the pro-Palestinian Al Quds march in central London, previously attended by the Labour leader and Islington North MP.
But after driving a hire van from Cardiff to London on June 18, road closures thwarted his plan.
Instead he travelled across London in hunt of a mosque, eventually ending up in Finsbury Park in Mr Corbyn’s constituency at around midnight.
CCTV footage shows the van circling roads close to the Muslim Welfare House and Finsbury Park mosque, before turning hard left into a crowded pavement at the entrance of Whadcoat Street at 12.16am.
Two minutes earlier Mr Ali had collapsed on the floor after attending evening prayers, just 100 yards from his front door, prompting bystanders to rush to his aid.
Witnesses said he had been conscious and had wanted to go home in the moments before being struck by the van, which killed him almost instantly. Two others were seriously injured.
A note written by Osborne – which complained about terrorism, the Rotherham child sex scandal, and branded Mr Corbyn a “terrorist sympathiser” – was found in the cab of the van.
Osborne, a “total loner”, had become obsessed with Muslims after watching BBC drama Three Girls in May last year and was angered by what he deemed as inaction following a string of UK terror attacks, his estranged partner Sarah Andrews said.
Police believe these feelings were further fuelled by far-right material, with devices found at Osborne’s family home revealing multiple searches for English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson and Britain First’s Jayda Fransen.
Within a month Osborne, who had never previously expressed racist tendencies, had become radicalised and decided to take matters into his own hands.
Additional reporting by Press Association.