'Loner' guilty of Finsbury Park terror attack to be sentenced on Friday

An unemployed "loner" who ploughed a hire van into a group of Muslims after becoming radicalised by far-right material within weeks will be sentenced on Friday.

Darren Osborne, 48, deliberately mowed down worshippers outside two mosques in Finsbury Park, north London, shortly after 12.15am on June 19 last year, killing 51-year-old Makram Ali and injuring 12 others.

A jury of eight women and four men took one hour to convict the father-of-four, who was seen smiling and blowing a kiss to angry bystanders in the moments after the terror attack, of murder and attempted murder.

Osborne, who had denied both charges, will be sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday morning.

Forensic officers at the scene of the attack (Victoria Jones/PA)
Forensic officers at the scene of the attack (Victoria Jones/PA)

Part way through the trial Osborne, from Glyn Rhosyn in Cardiff, suddenly denied he had been driving the van at the moment of impact, an 11th hour defence the prosecution dismissed as being conjured "out of thin air".

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.

Jurors agreed with prosecutors who dubbed his increasingly improbable version of events a "total fabrication" and "frankly absurd".

Graphic of the Finsbury Park attack (PA Graphics)
Graphic of the Finsbury Park attack (PA Graphics)

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 had also plotted to murder Rochdale Labour councillor Aftab Hussain but called it off because he wanted "more casualties".

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.

Prosecutors will ask the court to take into account the fact this was a terrorism offence when Osborne is sentenced on Friday.

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