Darren Osborne gets 43 years for Finsbury Park terror attack as judge criticises his 'pathetic attempt' to deceive jury

A judge has jailed Finsbury Park attacker Darren Osborne for life, with a minimum of 43 years, as she criticised the radicalised loner's "pathetic attempt" to deceive the jury.

Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb described Osborne's driving of a hired van into worshippers close to a mosque in June last year as a "suicide mission" and "terrorist attack" after he vowed in a pub to "kill all the Muslims".

On Osborne's rapid radicalisation and bingeing on far-right extremism videos, she said: "Your mindset became one of malevolent hatred. In short you allowed your mind to be poisoned by those who claimed to be leaders."

Woolwich Crown Court heard father-of-four Osborne, 48, had a criminal record spanning 30 years and had appeared in court 33 times for 102 offences.

The judge told him: "Your record reflects a belligerent and violent character."

Makram Ali, 51, was killed and nine others were injured in the June 19 van attack.

Mr Ali's daughter Ruzina Akhtar, one of his six children, condemned Osborne as a "narrow-minded, heartless being" and said the image of her dead father would always stay with her.

In a statement read to court, she said: "My heart was shattered when I saw my father lying in the morgue."

Ms Akhtar said her father "lived without any enemies" and said: "His laugh will echo the walls of our home and his smile will be reflected in our eyes. His memory will be in our conversation."

She added: "My mum is scared to go out by herself in case she is attacked because she is visibly a Muslim who wears a headscarf."

Outside the court she said: "He was such a peaceful and simple man. He had no bad thoughts for anyone.

"Our father, like the victims of most terrorism, was entirely innocent, which makes his death in this violent way all the more hurtful."

  • '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 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 the fallen Mr Ali. 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.

Read the full story.

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

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.

Read the full story.

  • 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.

Mohammed Mahmoud was praised by Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb for showing "true leadership" with behaviour that "throws into sharp relief the bile spewed out online from those who aspire to lead the haters".

Mr Mahmoud told ITV News that Muslim communities justifiably still fear unjust reprisals for the crimes of Islamic extremists seven months on from Osborne's attack.

Read the full story.

Osborne, from Cardiff, was found guilty of murder and attempted murder on Thursday.

He nodded his head at the reading of the verdict, which took the jury of eight women and four men less than an hour to deliver.

Prosecutors said 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.

Darren Osborne put in a bizarre defence in court. Credit: PA

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

But after his arrest he celebrated the attack, saying, "I've done my job, you can kill me now" and admitting "I accelerated a big van for about 20ft into people" and was "flying solo".

Yet in a bizarre defence in court, Osborne admitted he held far-right views and had wanted to kill Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, 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.

In her sentencing remarks, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb praised the "intelligent British jury who saw through your pathetic last-ditch attempt to deceive them by blaming someone else for your crimes".

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

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."