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Britain

Man who attacked London Muslims gets more than 40 years in prison

Darren Osborne will be 82 years old when he leaves prison after his hatred for Muslims led to him attempting mass-murder

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 February, 2018, 12:31am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 February, 2018, 6:03am

A man who drove a van into worshippers near a London mosque, killing one man and injuring a dozen others, was sentenced on Friday to at least 43 years in prison for what a judge called a crime driven by “malevolent hatred.”

Judge Bobbie Cheema-Grubb said Darren Osborne’s mind was “poisoned” by far-right ideas before the June 2017 attack targeting Muslims and that he had shown no signs of remorse.

“Your mindset became one of malevolent hatred,” the judge told the prisoner in the dock at Woolwich Crown Court. “This was a terrorist attack. You intended to kill.”

British terrorist who drove van into crowd of Muslims is convicted of murder

She sentenced Osborne, 48, to life with no chance of parole for 43 years, saying “the court has seen no evidence that the danger you present has lessened.”

“You attempted to kill at least a dozen people and succeeded in taking the life of a peaceful man you knew nothing about and had never met,” the judge said.

A jury convicted Osborne, of Cardiff, Wales, of murder and attempted murder on Thursday for the attack in London’s Finsbury Park neighbourhood.

A 51-year-old man, Makram Ali, was killed and 12 people were injured when Osborne drove a rented van into people leaving evening prayers during Ramadan.

The judge told Osborne that the slain man had “lived his life without enemies – until, unknowingly, he met you.”

Suspect in deadly van attack on London Muslims wanted to kill left-wing politician

Osborne had denied guilt and claimed another man, named Dave, was driving the van when it struck the crowd.

The judge said jurors “saw through your pathetic last-ditch attempt to deceive them by blaming someone else for your crimes.”

Prosecutors said Osborne was motivated by a hatred of Muslims and been radicalised by far-right and Islamophobic propaganda he found online.

Police were surprised by the speed of his radicalisation, which began when he watched a television docudrama about Pakistani men sexually exploiting young women in northern England.

Osborne began searching racist and anti-Muslim material, and a few weeks later, on June 19, he carried out his attack.

Family of Darren Osborne devastated at ‘madness’ of attack on Muslims

It came weeks after the deadly Manchester Arena and London Bridge attacks carried out by Islamic radicals.

Bystanders who witnessed the van striking pedestrians caught and restrained Osborne until police arrived. In her sentencing remarks, the judge praised Mohammed Mahmoud, imam of the local mosque, for intervening to stop them from hurting him.

“This was a demonstration of true leadership,” she said, adding: “He chose to respond to evil with good.”

Ali left a wife and six children. Members of his family watched from the public gallery as the sentence was handed down.

His daughter Ruzina Akhtar said in a statement that “his life was taken in a cruel way by a very narrow-minded, heartless being.”

“But we will choose to remember our father with happier thoughts,” she said outside court.

“He will never be forgotten, he will always stay in our hearts. His laughter will echo the walls of our home, his smile will be reflected in our eyes, his memories will be alive in our conversations.”