Darren Osborne found guilty of murder over Finsbury Park attack

ITV Report

1 February 2018 at 3:58pm

Darren Osborne was found guilty after jury deliberations lasting under an hour. Credit: Metropolitan Police

Darren Osborne has been found guilty of murder and attempted murder after deliberately ploughing a van into Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park.

Makram Ali, 51, was killed and 12 others were injured after 48-year-old drove into a crowd of people just outside a mosque on the night of June 19 last year.

A jury of of eight women and four men took less than an hour to convict the father of four after a trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

Osborne nodded his head as the verdict was read out.

He will be sentenced at 10.30am tomorrow morning, at a hearing where the judge will be asked to consider whether the attack was an act of terrorism.

Makram Ali, 51, died in the attack and nine others were wounded. Credit: ITV News

Counterterror police described Osborne as a loner who was radicalised into a far-right extremist within weeks, fuelled by hate-filled material online.

Muslim groups have said the attack shone a light on disturbing Islamophobia within Britain and warned action must be taken to tackle racism.

‘He didn’t say anything when he came off the van. He just walked past me’

A first aider hit in the attack has told ITV News of the moment Darren Osborne drove into him and others in a rented van -then quietly tried to escape in the ensuing melee.

Yassin Hersi was hit while helping fellow Muslim Mr Ali, who had fallen over after prayers at the local mosque in north London.

Mr Hersi’s distressed family soon saw him among the victims on a Snapchat video.

And he told ITV News how he didn’t tell his loved ones his exact location for fear his hijab-wearing wife and daughters could be targeted.

Osborne binged on far-right videos as he was radicalised in less than a month

Darren Osborne in a bar shortly before he carried out the attack. Credit: Met Police

The trigger, say investigators, was the acclaimed BBC drama ‘Three Girls’, based on the true stories of victims of the Rochdale grooming scandal.

The subject matter became his obsession. He turned into a “ticking time bomb” making comments about “all Muslims raping children and being capable of blowing people up”.

His former partner said he had become “brainwashed”.

Read ITV News Security Editor Rohit Kachroo on Osborne’s rapid radicalisation.

How Osborne planned and carried out the van attack

Osborne driving his rented van past an Islamic Centre in Lewisham. Credit: Metropolitan Police

Described as a “a loner” and “a functioning alcoholic”, Osborne decided to take matters into his own hands after being seduced by far-right rhetoric.

Within just a month, he fell into extremism and created a plot to use a vehicle with the intention of mowing down Muslims.

He rented a three-and-a-half tonne van in Wales before driving to London intending to target a protest march.

When that failed, it was purely bad luck that led him to cross paths with a group of Muslims helping an elderly man who had been taken ill.

Hero imam says Muslims still in fear of unjust reprisal attacks

The imam hailed a hero for his response to van terror attack has told ITV News he acted to prevent a “cowardly reaction” to the “cowardly attack” as he described arriving to the scene of horror.

And Mohammed Mahmoud said seven months on Muslim communities justifiably still fear unjust reprisals for the crimes of Islamic extremists.

“The first thing I saw was bodies scattered around the place before I even noticed Darren Osborne,” Mr Mahmoud said.

“He was restrained with his face down to the pavement.”

Police cordons in Finsbury Park shortly after the attack. Credit: PA

Prosecutors said that Osborne was trying to kill “as many of the group as possible” when he deliberately drove his van into Muslims gathered at the junction of Seven Sisters Road and Whadcoat Street.

He was held the the scene by members of the public and then arrested.

Police body camera footage captured Osborne claiming that he had lost control of his vehicle.

But in a bizarre defence in court, Cardiff resident Osborne admitted he held far-right views and had wanted to kill Jeremy Corbyn, but insisted he had not been the driver during the attack.

He claimed that an acquaintance he met in the pub and knew only as “Dave” had been at the wheel, while he hid in the footwell of the van.

Darren Osborne gives evidence in court. Credit: PA

A lawyer representing many of the victims said they had suffered a “horrendous” ordeal as a result of having to face Osborne in court to give evidence.

Dushal Mehta, a lawyer at Fieldfisher, said they were still trying to secure insurance payouts to help cover their care for serious physical and mental injuries from the attack.

“Several of our clients have been left severely physically and mentally injured, affecting their whole lives,” he said.

“Some have lost their jobs because of those injuries and have been unable to look after their wives and children as they would want.”

Darren Osborne was filmed waving to the crowd from inside a police van.

Scotland Yard’s head of counterterrorism Dean Haydon said that Osborne had carried out an “evil and cowardly” attack in a statement after the verdict.

“It was clear that in the space of only a few weeks, Osborne had developed a warped and twisted view to such a degree that he was prepared to plan and carry out this attack,” he said.

Bosses at the Crown Prosecution Service said it was clear the attack should be treated as a terrorism incident motivated by Osborne’s “hatred of Muslims”.

Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain said the murder was “the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia yet in our country.”

He said that Islamaphobic tropes had been “made acceptable in our mainstream” as he urged action to tackle racism.

“We cannot be complacent and regard this as a one-off terrorist incident,” he added.

Last updated Thu 1 Feb 2018

Source : http://www.itv.com/news/2018-02-01/darren-osborne-found-guilty-of-murder-over-finsbury-park-attack/