Finsbury Park terror attack: Darren Osborne found guilty of murder and attempted murder
He was motivated by deadly terror attacks in Britain and developed an obsession with a television account of Muslim men who targeted white girls
A man who drove a van into Muslim worshippers outside a mosque last June has been found guilty of murder and manslaughter.
Darren Osborne, 48, was convicted at Woolwich Crown Court of killing 51-year-old Makram Ali and injuring nine others.
He will receive his sentence Friday morning.
He was motivated by deadly terror attacks in Britain and an obsession with a television account of Muslim men who targeted white girls, a London court was told during the trial.
Makram Ali was a father of six who came to Britain from Bangladesh aged 10. He died when Osborne deliberately drove at a group of worshippers as they left a mosque in Finsbury Park in north London after late-night Ramadan prayers.
Osborne, an alcoholic, lambasted politicians, calling London Mayor Sadiq Khan a disgrace and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn a "terrorist sympathiser", prosecutor Jonathan Rees said, quoting from a note he said Mr Osborne left in the van.
The note described Muslim men as rapists, "feral" and "in-bred" and when he was detained after the attack, Osborne said: "At least I had a go", Mr Rees told Woolwich Crown Court.
"The evidence establishes that the defendant was trying to kill as many of the group as possible," Mr Rees told jurors. "The prosecution say that the note and the comments he made after his detention establish that this act of extreme violence was, indeed, an act of terrorism, designed to influence government and intimidate the Muslim community."
Osborne showed no remorse throughout his trial and appeared to make jokes in court.
He provided a bizarre late defence, claiming he planned the attack with "a guy called Dave" and another man called "Terry Jones".
Asked many times where "Dave" is now and how it was possible for him to flee the scene without any cameras or witnesses seeing him, Osborne told the court he was "an illusionist. He can make himself vanish perhaps."
This story was branded "absurd" by prosecutors.
The incident occurred just weeks after three Islamists drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before going on a knife rampage, killing eight.
That attack came the month after a suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester killed 22 people. In March another Islamic State-inspired attacker killed five people by driving a car into passers-by on London's Westminster Bridge and then stabbing to death a police officer in the grounds of parliament.
Mr Rees said Osborne hired a van and drove to London from his home in Cardiff. After a plan to attack an anti-Israel march failed, Osborne drove around seeking alternative targets.
Two days before the attack, Osborne told a serving soldier in a pub in Cardiff: "I'm going to kill all the Muslims".
Mr Rees said Osborne's former partner Sarah Andrews described the father of four as a loner and a functioning alcoholic with an unpredictable temperament who took medication for depression.
"With the benefit of hindsight, she describes him as a ticking time-bomb," the prosecutor said.
The head of counter-terrorism of London's Metropolitan Police, Commander Dean Haydon, said it was clear that Osborne had planned to attack the Muslim community.
“Only he will know, but if Osborne’s aim was to create divisions and hate between communities, then from what I have seen, he has failed in that respect," he said.
"The way that the local community in Finsbury Park – of all faiths and backgrounds – came together was astounding and this reaction was the same across London and the UK."
Anti-extremism campaigners said the case highlighted how quickly someone could be radicalised through the medium of social media and online propaganda. In Osborne's case it took just a few weeks.
“It highlights that people can get involved in extremism very quickly," said Nigel Bromage, a British former Neo Nazi who now heads anti-radicalisation group Small Steps. "They can make a decision to carry out a horrific act and they can do it alone."
Updated: February 1, 2018 11:43 PM