Finsbury Park attacker Darren Osborne jailed for minimum of 43 years

Darren Osborne was found guilty of murder and attempted murder, at Woolwich Crown Court

Darren Osborne was found guilty of murder and attempted murder, at Woolwich Crown Court

A man who drove a van into a crowd of Muslims near a north London mosque has been sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum term of 43 years behind bars.

Darren Osborne, 48, was found guilty of murdering Makram Ali, 51, after deliberately ploughing into a crowd of people in Finsbury Park in June.

Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said Osborne, from Cardiff, had planned “a suicide mission” and expected to be shot dead.

“This was a terrorist attack – you intended to kill,” the judge told him.

Osborne, who had been found guilty of murder and attempted murder, said “God bless you all, thank you”, as he was led away from court.

‘Malevolent hatred’

The father-of-four mowed down worshippers in Finsbury Park shortly after 12.15am on 19 June last year, killing Mr Ali and injuring nine others.

The jury took an hour to return the verdict at Woolwich Crown Court on Thursday after a nine-day trial.

Justice Cheema-Grubb told Osborne the jury in his trial had seen though his “pathetic last-ditch attempt to deceive them”.

She said he was “rapidly radicalised over the internet by those determined to spread hatred of Muslims”.

“Your use of Twitter exposed you to racists and anti-Islamic ideology,” she added.

“In short, you allowed your mind to be poisoned by those who claimed to be leaders.”

Before sentencing, the court heard a statement from Razina Akhtar, the daughter of Mr Ali, who said she had suffered “recurring nightmares” since the death of her father.

“The incident was near to our house and I walk past it most days. It keeps me awake at night thinking about the attack.”

She said her mother, Mr Ali’s widow, was now scared to go outside by herself for fear of being attacked.

“My father was the most sincere and warmest person I know. He was full of jokes and laughter, and full of love for his family and grandchildren.

“His life was taken in a cruel way by a narrow-minded, heartless being,” the statement added.

Other witness suffered feelings of anxiety, flashbacks, fear of going out and loss of confidence, prosecutors said.

Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb also heard a list of Osborne’s previous convictions – including a string of violent offences – spanning more than 30 years.

Osborne had appeared before the courts on 33 occasions for 102 offences, she was told.

The judge said Osborne’s previous convictions showed he was a “belligerent and violent character”.

She said Mr Ali died immediately after being struck by the van. He was found with tyre marks on his torso, she added.

‘Obsessed’ with Muslims

The trial heard the victims had been outside the Muslim Welfare House, in Finsbury Park, when the area had been busy with worshippers attending Ramadan prayers.

Mr Ali had collapsed at the roadside in the minutes before the attack.

Police later found a letter in the van written by Osborne, referring to Muslim people as “rapists” and “feral”.

He also wrote that Muslim men were “preying on our children”.

Osborne, the trial heard, had became “obsessed” with Muslims in the weeks leading up to the attack, having watched the BBC drama Three Girls, about the Rochdale grooming scandal.

BBC News

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