By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) - The man convicted of murder and attempted murder in last year’s terror attack on Muslim worshippers in London was handed a life sentence on Friday with a minimum 43 years behind bars.
Darren Osborne, 48, killed a Muslim worshipper, Makram Ali, and injured 11 others last June when he plowed a van into a group of people after they left Ramadan prayers at the Muslim Welfare Centre in Finsbury Park.
Prime Minister Theresa May had condemned the attack as “sickening” and “insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life”.
The Woolwich Crown Court convicted Osborne over his attempt to use a van as a murder weapon, which followed three major terror attacks that killed dozens of people in Manchester and London.
The court heard during the trial that Osborne initially intended to drive the van into a Palestinian march in central London, hoping to make a victim out of opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
- Indescribable pain
Rosina Akhtar, the daughter of the terror attack victim, said she could not describe the pain she and her relatives had suffered.
In a statement read to the court, she said her father was taken from them “in a cruel way by a very narrow-minded, heartless being.”
“My heart was shattered when I saw my father lying in the morgue. I couldn’t see his smile,” she said of her pain during the identification process.
- 'Ticking time bomb'
During the trial, the jury heard from the prosecution that Osborne's attack was an act of terrorism driven by his hatred of Muslims.
Sarah Andrews, Orborne’s partner, told police detectives that his attitude had dramatically changed weeks before the attack after watching Three Girls, a BBC TV drama about a sex abuse scandal.
Describing Osborne as a "ticking time bomb”, she said in a witness statement that he had become “obsessed” with Muslims and became a follower of far-right figures such as former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson and fringe far-right group Britain First’s members.
The jury heard that after the attack, Osborne was saved by an imam, who protected him despite his attempt to run down Muslims.
Osborne, seen smiling, apparently said: “I’ve done my bit.”