Finsbury Park van attack suspect Darren Osborne 'wanted to kill Muslims after watching Rochdale sex abuse drama'

Darren Obsorne has been charged over the Finsbury Park attack

Darren Obsorne has been charged over the Finsbury Park attack

Monday, January 22, 2018

The man accused of driving a van into Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park plotted the act after watching a drama about the Rochdale sex abuse scandal, a court has heard.

Darren Osborne, 48, is standing trial at Woolwich Crown Court for murder and attempted murder, accused of ploughing into a crowd of worshippers near Finsbury Park mosque on June 19, 2017. The man who was killed in the attack, 51-year-old Markram Ali, had collapsed in the street moments earlier and the crowd had gathered to help him.

Jurors have heard that Osborne became a "brainwashed ticking timebomb" after watching the BBC drama Three Girls in May.

The drama is based on the crimes committed by the Rochdale child sex abuse gang, nine of whose members - all British Pakistanis - were jailed in 2012.

The court was told that, after watching the drama, Osborne became convinced that all Muslims were rapists and paedophiles, according to The Telegraph.

Lawyers for the prosecution also claimed that Osborne, from Cardiff, had originally plotted to attack the al-Quds march in his search for a high-profile Muslim target, before subsequently switching his attention to the Finsbury Park mosque.

Jonathan Rees QC told the jury that Osborne left a note in the van, laying out his extremist views towards Muslims, and planned to inflict as much carnage as possible.

Rees said: “Although there is no terrorist offence for you to consider in this case, 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, and done for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, ideological or racial cause.

“The evidence establishes that the defendant was trying to kill as many of the group as possible. In the event, he killed one person, a 51-year-old man called Makram Ali, and in addition injured many others, some of them seriously.”

Osborne denies the charges against him.