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Darren Osborne, who drove van into Muslims outside mosque, convicted of terrorist attack that killed Makram Ali

A man has been convicted of murder and attempted murder after driving a van into a group of Muslims near a north London mosque in a terrorist attack.

A jury concluded that Darren Osborne intended to kill as many Muslims as possible and had been “brainwashed” after gorging on extremist rightwing propaganda online.

A jury of eight women and four men took one hour to convict the father of four. Osborne, who had denied both charges, nodded in the dock as the verdict was read out but showed little emotion. He will be sentenced on Friday.

Police believe one catalyst for his three-week spiral into terrorism was a BBC drama about a Muslim grooming gang.

The attack last June left Makram Ali, 51, dead with a tyre mark across his chest and 12 others injured after the van Osborne was driving struck people in Finsbury Park.

Osborne, 48, was convicted after a trial at Woolwich crown court in south-east London. The case was prosecuted as a terrorist offence because Osborne’s actions were taken in order to advance a political purpose, a factor that will be taken into account when the sentence is decided.

In a defence that the prosecutor, Jonathan Rees QC, described as “absurd”, he had claimed “a guy called Dave”, who was not visible on any CCTV footage, had been driving the van while he changed his trousers in the footwell.

The jury was told by the prosecution that the act was terrorism driven by Osborne’s hatred of Muslims, which his partner said had developed rapidly in the weeks before the attack, leaving him “a ticking timebomb”.

One witness heard the van “accelerate and the noise of changing gears” as the engine revved, its impact leaving a scene of horror with a limb trapped under a wheel.

Two minutes before the attack, Ali had become ill and fallen to the ground 100 yards from his home. It was just after 12.15am and Muslims were thronging the streets after prayers at two nearby mosques to mark the festival of Ramadan.

The attack came after three Islamist terrorist attacks in London and Manchester. A note recovered from the van Osborne had driven down from Wales, where he lived, railed against Muslims, the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, and the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

The jury heard that after the attack, Osborne was saved by an imam, who protected him despite his attempt to run down Muslims. Osborne was seen to smile and say: “I’ve done my bit.”

Opening the case, Rees said Osborne was heard by witnesses to say: “I’ve done my job. You can kill me now.” The prosecutor said a witness claimed the attacker was “constantly smiling”.

Rees said Osborne was seen hitting out at people as he tried to escape the throng and said: “I want to kill more Muslims.”

Osborne’s partner, Sarah Andrews, told detectives that in the weeks before the attack, his attitude had changed after he watched Three Girls, a BBC TV drama about the Rochdale grooming scandal.

Andrews said in a witness statement that Osborne had become “obsessed” with Muslims and was an avid follower of social media postings by the former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, as well as members of the far-right group Britain First.

The jury heard that the pair had watched Three Girls and, in a statement read to the court, Andrews said she believed Osborne had become angry “about seeing young girls exploited” and developed his fixation with Muslims from that point.

She said Osborne “seemed brainwashed” and had been watching content posted online by Robinson, leading him to seek out more extremist material.

Smartphones and computers showed Osborne had viewed material from Britain First, a group that “campaigns primarily against multiculturalism and what it sees as the Islamisisation of the UK”, Rees told the jury.

Osborne had not worked for a decade and had mental health problems. He tried to kill himself shortly before the attack.

Ali was a father of six children, four daughters and two sons, and had suffered from ill health.

The attack sent shockwaves through Muslim communities in Britain, and came as many noted increasing rhetorical attacks in the mainstream media and from politicians, alongside a rise in extreme rightwing violence. Counter-terrorism officials have also noted an increase in violent attacks.

Osborne was not known to police or MI5 for extremism before his lone-wolf attack.

His defence to the jury contradicted CCTV evidence and a statement his lawyers had submitted to the court on his behalf.

He told the jury that it was “sod’s law” that CCTV had not picked up the point along the route where his supposed co-conspirator Dave had got into the vehicle, adding that he had no idea where Dave had gone in the aftermath of the attack.

CCTV footage shows he was the only person to leave the van after the attack, and carried out reconnaissance by foot shortly beforehand, again on his own.

He wrote the note setting out his extremist views in a Cardiff pub, where CCTV footage and witnesses confirm he was on his own.

Following Osborne’s conviction Sue Hemming, from the CPS, said: “Darren Osborne planned and carried out this attack because of his hatred of Muslims.

“He later invented an unconvincing story to counter the overwhelming weight of evidence but the jury has convicted him. We have been clear throughout that this was a terrorist attack, and he must now face the consequences of his actions.”

The Guardian

A 23-year-old man from Clitheroe has been given an extended sentence of 14 years following “a brutal attack” on a “vulnerable defenceless man”.

Joseph Ingham, of Beech Street, appeared at Preston Crown Court today where he pleaded guilty to section 18 assault.

He was given an extended sentence of 14 years – 10 years in prison and four years on licence.

The serious assault dates back to Friday, December 8th, when officers were called by the ambulance service at around 5-40am to reports that a man had been found with serious injuries on Greenacre Street.

A review of CCTV revealed a prolonged unprovoked attack on the victim, by a male offender, later identified as Ingham.

Ingham was arrested by police and later charged.

The 65-year-old victim was taken by ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital. He suffered a number of serious injuries including a fractured skull.

Insp Tim McDermott, of Burnley CID, said: “This was a brutal attack perpetrated upon a vulnerable defenceless man and sadly left him with serious injuries. He spent a number of weeks in hospital and has been left with injuries which will severely impact his quality of life.

“I would like to extend my thanks to members of the public who came forward with information following our initial appeal. Their support undoubtedly helped us to achieve this sentence.”

The family of the victim said: “This Christmas hasn’t been an enjoyable time for us all and we are happy to see the back of 2017. We are solely concentrating on getting him better. It’s a long road but we will get there. We hope the man who did this realises the impact and devastation he has caused.

“We are pleased with the speed at which this has been concluded and also the support we have received from the police throughout. We are also really happy with the sentence given today.”

Clitheroe Advertiser

A MAN was remanded in custody yesterday after threatening to blow up a bus just days after the London bombings.

Ian McCready made the threat to police only eight days after the London blasts which killed 56 people, including 13 passengers on a bus.

McCready, 42, made the threat during a phone call to a Durham Police legal executive about a claim he was making against the force, Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard.

As his anger spilled over he shouted: “I’m going to go into Sunderland and blow up a bus.”

McCready, of Ferndene Crescent, Pallion, Sunderland, is now facing jail after pleading guilty to threatening to destroy property.

McCready appeared on video-link before Sunderland magistrates yesterday from prison after his stunt saw him remanded in custody.

Alan Brockbank, prosecuting, said McCready was involved in a long-running civil dispute over property seized by police during a criminal investigation, and rang the force on Friday, July 15 to speed things up.

He told the court that McCready then claimed he would go out and blow up a bus in Sunderland, and repeated the threat.

He admitted making the threat after first telling police: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Defence solicitor Tim Bittlestone said McCready had no previous convictions, and suffered from depression and anxiety in recent years.

He said this was not a case of somebody ringing police and making a bomb hoax, but a threat made during an argument with a police staff member.

Magistrates asked for probation reports to be prepared to consider all options, including jail. McCready was refused bail and was remanded in custody until August 15.

Northern Echo

From 2005.

A Britain First supporter who gave a Nazi salute, shouted “white power” and drove at a curry house owner during a drunken rampage has been jailed.

Marek Zakrocki told a police officer he was going to “kill a Muslim” before launching his London attack on the anniversary of the Brexit vote.

While the 48-year-old was sentenced to 33 weeks in prison for his attack, he is likely to walk later on Friday, having served his time on remand.

Zakrocki, who was originally charged with attempted murder, had previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and battering his wife.

The white van driver also admitted drink-driving as he appeared via video link from Wormwood Scrubs for sentencing at the Old Bailey where he was jailed for 33 weeks for the attack outside Spicy Night in Alexandra Parade, Harrow, north-west London.

Judge Anthony Leonard QC said: “You committed these offences at a time of heightened tension because of the attack on a Muslim outside a Mosque in London.”

The judge said there was evidence of “abhorrent” racist views but his crime was due to the effect of alcohol.

He added: “In your drunken state what you said and the way you behaved would have been both offensive and put persons in fear.”

As well as his prison sentence, Zakrocki has been disqualified from driving for three years.

ITV News

Four contract workers attacked doormen “like a pack of animals” when they were refused entry to a city bar.

Supervisor Kevin Matuszek, 42, and his fellow asbestos strippers Danny Matuszek, 19, Antonio Milonas, 42, and Scott Mallaburn, 29, had visited pubs and bars after they clocked off early while working away from home in Exeter on Friday, May 12, last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard, after around seven hours of drinking, the men were refused entry to the Old Fire House by bouncers, who thought they appeared “boisterous” and drunk.

The refusal led to “all hell breaking loose”, with the men lashing out with feet and fists and even sandwich boards and bar signs being thrown into the pub’s outside courtyard, which was packed with drinkers. One woman witness described the ten minutes of violence, which was captured on CCTV and played in court, as “horrific”.

Four bouncers suffered varying degrees of injury while trying to protect themselves and the pub’s customers from the attack. Matuszek senior, of Fellgate Avenue, Jarrow, his son, Matuszek junior, of Gleneagles Road, Sunderland, Milonas, of Brackley Grove, North Shields, and Mallaburn, of Parkhurst Road, Sunderland, all pleaded guilty to affray when they appeared at Exeter’s city magistrates court. Their case was transferred north for sentence.

Judge Paul Sloan said the attack was “drunken, gratuitous violence” and told the men: “You took exception to the stance adopted by the doorstaff. “You began to be abusive and aggressive as well as threaten violence. “There was some pushing and shoving then the situation calmed down for a period. “Then, as described by more than one witness, all hell broke loose.

“Four doormen were attacked. “Punches and kicks were delivered. “A wooden advertising board was thrown at doormen, as well as other items. “One described you as behaving like a pack of animals.” Judge Sloan added: “One witness described the scene as horrific. “It was clear to her the doormen were trying to protect not only themselves but the customers within the premises.”

The judge sentenced all four men to 12-months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 100 hours unpaid work, £500 compensation and £150 costs. Matuszek jnr, who has a previous ASBO on his record, has to complete just 80 hours unpaid work but has additional rehabilitation requirements.

The court heard all four men have criminal records but have not been in recent trouble and have all expressed remorse for their drunken behaviour. All have good work records with positive references and future employment prospects.

Jamie Adams, defending both Matuszeks, said the father and son are “ashamed and remorseful” about their involvement and accept their behaviour was disgraceful that day. Barry Robson, defending Milonas, said the dad-of-six is “ashamed” and did not usually drink while working away but had been that day.

Sunderland Echo

Keeping Kids Safe have released footage of their ‘sting’ after Christopher Gamlin was jailed

This is the moment a paedophile who planned to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex in a park is confronted by a self-styled “hunting” group.

Christopher Gamlin, 47, was caught after a member of Keeping Kids Safe posed as a child on the Say Hi chat site.

Gamlin, of Newport Road in Cardiff, asked the person he believed to be a teenage girl to send him photographs of her breasts and sent her explicit pictures of himself.

Gamlin also made plans to meet her at a cinema and for them to have sex in a park.

But he was caught when members of Keeping Kids Safe travelled from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire to Gamlin’s home in Cardiff to confront him and detained him until police arrived.

Paddy Fripps, founder of Keeping Kids Safe, said: “He left us with no choice but to expose him and detain him for the police.

“Our team puts in a lot of hours every day to bring these sexual predators to justice and our reward is to see them receive a custodial sentence.”

Gamlin was jailed at Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday for 21 months for attempting to meet a child after grooming and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was also made the subject of a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Mr Fripps said the team felt 21 months was not long enough but said the members were motivated by knowing his offending had been exposed and were “very proud” of their conviction rate.

Here are some extracts from the ‘sting’

Keeping Kids Safe (KKS): This is Christopher Gamlin. He wanted to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl today for sex. We’ve come to his address and now we’re waiting for the police.

KKS: Do you think it’s acceptable to talk like that to a child? Why did you do it?

Gamlin: I thought she was older.

KKS: You didn’t. She told you she was a child. She told you a lot of times as well.

Decoy from KKS: It’s me you’ve been talking to. I’m the girl. The one you’ve sent videos of porn to. And pictures of your d***. So yes, that’s me. Do you want to apologise or anything?

Gamlin: No reply.

Decoy: It’s bad enough what you’ve done to me. Imagine if I’d been a real 13-year-old.

Gamlin: No reply.

Decoy: Have you got nothing to say for yourself? Any remorse? You’ve not got any remorse about you.

Gamlin: I have.

Decoy: What do you think should happen to people like you?

Gamlin: Lots, I suppose.

Decoy: Do you think you should do time for it?

Gamlin: No reply.

KKS: Your neighbours all know. Police are on the way to you now.

Decoy: How long do you think you should serve in prison for the way you’ve been speaking to me?

Gamlin: No reply.

Decoy: You’ve gone very quiet now, but you had plenty to say to me for the last six weeks.

KKS: I don’t get what makes you do it.

Gamlin: Bored, I suppose.

KKS: The police are going to arrest you and they’re going to take all your electrical devices to see what you’ve been doing.

Decoy: Have you got nothing to say?

Gamlin: What can I say?
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/what-happened-group-paedophile-hunters-14029996

Wales Online

Mark Beneke threatened to kill Helen Jones Labour MP for Warrington North

A man wielding a hunting knife threatened to kill an MP saying he would “Jo Cox her” after his benefits were cut.

Mark Beneke, 49, ranted at social workers and demanded to know where Helen Jones , Labour MP for Warrington North, held surgeries.

The unemployed alcoholic yelled: “It’s people like her who have put people in this position. I’m going to go there and Jo Cox her.”

Judge Andrew Menary, QC, said: “That was a particularly sinister threat, given the tragic circumstances in which Jo Cox MP herself lost her life.

“It was designed to be shocking, it was shocking and you reinforced that threat at the time by picking up a hunting knife – a fearsome weapon.”

Labour MP Jo Cox, 41, died after being shot and stabbed ahead of a constituency surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire in June 2016.

Far-right terrorist Thomas Mair was found guilty of her murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Beneke was made redundant due to a back injury and had problems managing his benefits and “coping with life”.

Social workers Myra Chester and Barrie Heap went to his home with a food parcel and to talk about his financial difficulties on August 2 this year.

Christopher Taylor, prosecuting, said Beneke referred to a text message from the Department for Work and Pensions, which asked him to access his account.

Beneke said: “I’ve been summonsed like a dog. I’m not putting up with it, they’ve gone too far now.

“I don’t want to be here but if I’m going, I’m taking someone with me. They have pushed it too far this time, the f***ing c***s.”

After referencing Jo Cox, Beneke picked up a serrated “survival” knife, as frightened Mr Heaps and Ms Chester backed away.

He said: “I’m sorry, I know you’re just trying to help, it’s not your fault.”

The pair reported the incident and when police arrived they discovered an arsenal of weapons, including three axes and more knives.

Beneke told officers he had a “hatred” for Mrs Jones “because she is an MP” and that Mrs Cox “meant nothing to him”.

Mr Taylor said: “He said he knew she was murdered by a man because she was trying to take his home from him.

“He was asked for his thoughts on her and said he didn’t care. He said he wouldn’t deny that he wanted Helen Jones dead.”

Ms Chester was left distressed, had to take time off work and is now considering looking for another job.

Beneke, of Grasmere Avenue, Orford, was found guilty of making threats to kill and admitted possessing cannabis.

He has four previous convictions for four offences, including dishonesty and criminal damage, but was last convicted in 2003.

Jonathan Duffy, defending, said Beneke’s difficulties were “the catalyst for his rant”.

He said he accepted becoming “extremely angry, emotional and frustrated” and he “momentarily lost control”.

Mr Duffy said: “He felt as though the recently imposed cuts to his benefits were an outrage in comparison to how those in the upper echelons of society were being treated.

“He said some very unkind, disparaging and inappropriate comments, hateful in many ways, and he is now ashamed.

“He never had any serious intention of causing Mrs Jones the anxiety and distress he caused her, let alone an intention to actually cause any violence towards her.

“He voted for her and is a long standing supporter of the Labour party.”

The lawyer argued Duffy – “a collector of knives” – had spent 19 weeks on remand and effectively “served his time”.

Judge Menary said it was a “peculiar incident” and that Beneke abused alcohol after losing his job.

He said there was no legitimate reason for him to have the hunting knife and ordered its forfeiture, along with the other weapons.

Judge Menary said the concern of Mrs Jones and the social workers was “perfectly understandable”.

However, he accepted the threats were “out of character” and noted Beneke was deemed to present a low risk of re-offending.

The judge said: “The feeling is it was the drink talking, rather than you.”

He handed him 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement of up to 20 days and an alcohol treatment course.

Judge Menary also imposed a restraining order, preventing Beneke from contacting Mrs Jones.

Liverpool Echo

Marek Zakrocki gave Nazi salute and shouted ‘white power’ before attack outside Harrow restaurant, Old Bailey hears

A Britain First supporter gave a Nazi salute and shouted “white power” before driving at a curry house owner during a drunken rampage, a court has heard.

Marek Zakrocki, 48, vented his anti-Muslim rage before the attack outside the Spicy Night restaurant in Alexandra Parade in Harrow, north-west London, on the anniversary of the Brexit vote on 23 June.

He was heard to say: “I’m going to kill a Muslim. I’m doing it for Britain. This is how I’m going to help the country. You people cannot do anything.”

The Old Bailey heard that the Polish-born window fitter then used his white van as a weapon against Kamal Ahmed and mounted the pavement twice. He was driving at 5mph and was in effect trying to pin Ahmed against the front of the restaurant window, which smashed.

Following his arrest by armed officers, police found a Nazi coin in Zakrocki’s pocket and a number of Britain First flyers and newspapers at his home in Harrow.

At the Old Bailey on Monday, Zakrocki pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and beating his wife. Further charges of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm and having a knife in Northolt Road, Harrow, were ordered to lie on file.

The prosecutor Denis Barry said: “Mr Zakrocki had plainly, during the course of that afternoon, had far too much to drink. During the course of that evening he assaulted his wife, drove off in his work vehicle, insulted a series of passersby and then drove his vehicle at the owner of a curry house, breaking the window of the curry house.

“It’s plain that his conduct is very likely to have been motivated by his views about our diverse society.”

Barry said Zakrocki had been “fixated” by Muslims and had made donations to Britain First in the past.

Because of the increased state of alert at the time of the incident, armed police arrested Zakrocki in a “hard stop”.

Barry said the defendant appeared to have a history of depressive illness and alcohol problems.

Earlier on June 23, he had grabbed his wife Ewa Zakrocka’s arm and threatened to “kill people” and then kill himself.

The prosecutor said Zakrocki made a Nazi salute, pushed an unknown Asian man and shouted “white power, white power” before ending up outside Spicy Night restaurant blocking the road with his van.

Following an altercation in the street, the defendant started the engine and twice aimed the vehicle at Ahmed, the court heard.

Barry said: “Because of the time that all this took place, the police took what had happened particularly seriously and there was a hard stop by armed police officers.”
He told the court that Britain First, formed by members of the BNP, was anti-Muslim and held views that were regarded by most people as “very extreme indeed”.

Judge Anthony Leonard QC remanded the defendant into custody to be sentenced on January 12. He ordered a report but warned he was considering a jail sentence.

The Guardian

A DRINK and drug-driver tried to impress youngsters by speeding at up to 100mph on a residential street, before a “catastrophic crash” in which he left three passengers injured, one seriously, in the back seat.

Lewis Stores ignored requests from passengers to slow down moments before losing control of his Ford Focus, careering into pavement street furniture and ploughing into a bus shelter at 5am on April 2.

Just before the crash, Stores, who was jailed for 32 months yesterday, told his passengers “Watch this”.

Stores and his front seat passenger fled from the wreckage on Clyde Terrace, Spennymoor, but a passer-by freed two passengers from the car, but the third, a 14-year-old boy, suffered multiple fractures and other injuries and was airlifted to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Durham Crown Court was told as 20-year-old Stores was arrested at home almost double the drink-driving limit and with cocaine in his system two hours after the crash, the boy underwent emergency surgery for fractures to his left leg and arm, wrist and fingers.

Ian West, prosecuting, said while the boy came close to having to have an arm amputated due to a loss of blood flow, Stores, of Salisbury Crescent, West Cornforth, admitted to police he had been drinking at a house party in Middlestone Moor, Spennymoor.

The boy spent a month in hospital and the court heard, seven months on from the accident, he was still receiving treatment for nerve damage and skin grafts to his leg and arm, while he had lost dexterity in his wrist.

An impact statement from his mother, read to the court, said the boy still had some difficulty walking, as the recovering leg sometimes gave way, while he had only been able to attend school a few days a week.

Stores told police as he had a car, party-goers had asked him to drive to a petrol station for alcohol and drop some part-goers home.

Mr West said Stores began driving at excessive speed, “with an element of showing off” after leaving the petrol station.

A witness estimated the Focus to have reached up to 100mph on Clyde Terrace, while police experts concluded just before impact it was travelling at 72mph on the 30mph-limit street.

Stores admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and drink and drug-driving.

Amrit Jandoo, mitigating, said Stores, of previous good character, had committed an “appalling piece of driving”.

Mr Jandoo said: “He had been at this house party, but it was at the request of others he was obliged to take others to petrol stations to buy more alcohol. But, by getting into the car he accepts he knew he was over the limit.

“Others getting into the car were impressed by this vehicle and in some ways he wanted to impress them with its speed and power, and that led to this moment of madness. When told to slow down he applied his brakes, but lost control.”

Mr Jandoo said after the impact, Stores panicked and fled, but by the time police called at his home there was “no prevarication”.

Judge Simon Hickey said more than just one passenger could have suffered catastrophic injuries as a result, and it was only down to the skill of the surgeons that the long-term consequences were not worse for the most badly affected passenger.

Stores was also banned from driving for four years and four months.

Northern Echo

Defendant, 20, reacted after counter-protester chucked firework during demonstration organised by Stoke-on-Trent Infidels

‘Abusive’ Britain First supporter David Davis ran at a police line and shoved an officer in the chest during a far-right protest.

The 20-year-old attended the Burslem protest which was organised by Stoke-on-Trent Infidels and featured Britain First leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen.

But the father-of-one became angry when a counter-protester threw a firework towards the Swan Square crowd during the ‘rally against grooming’ demonstration.

Now Davis, of Leek New Road, Cobridge, has admitted assaulting PC Stuart Fellhouse.

Britain First supporter David Davis being arrested at far-right rallyBritain First supporter David Davis being arrested at far-right rally

Britain First supporter David Davis being arrested at far-right rally

North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard the rally took place on October 28. Police have previously stressed more arrests will be made following last month’s protest.

“Davis pushed the PC with both his hands in the middle of the chest before jumping back into the crowd. He was then put on the floor by another officer and arrested.

“The defendant accepted he should not have done it and said he pushed the officer because he wanted to get to the other crowd.”

Britain First supporter David Davis is wrestled to the floor by police

Britain First supporter David Davis is wrestled to the floor by police

Scott Ashdown, mitigating, told the court that the defendant has started an anger management course. He is already subject to a 12-month community order for a racially-motivated offence and has been working with the probation service.

PC Fellhouse was not injured in the incident and called for a community order to teach him about other beliefs and cultures.

The defendant was handed a 12-month community order.

Magistrate Vivian Patterson said: “It is to your credit that you have been complying with the probation service but you have found yourself in court for assaulting a police officer. You know it is wrong and we are making you subject to the community order so you do more work with the probation service.”

Davis must also pay £135 court costs, an £85 victim surcharge, a £50 fine, and £30 compensation to PC Fellhouse.

Stoke Sentinel