Man accused of Finsbury Park terror attack 'planned to kill Jeremy Corbyn'

Matilda Long

A man accused of carrying out the Finsbury Park attack originally planned to try and kill Jeremy Corbyn, a court heard today.

Darren Osborne, 48, is accused of deliberately mowing down Muslims outside two North London mosques on June 19 last year, leaving one dead and several injured.

Giving evidence Osborne, of Glyn Rhosyn in Cardiff, said he initially hired the van he used for the attack to target the Al Quds march in London, where the Labour Leader was expected to be in attendance.

Referring to the march, Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC asked: ‘Were you hoping that you would have an opportunity to attack Jeremy Corbyn and kill him?’

Osborne replied: ‘Oh yeah’, adding: ‘It would be one less terrorist off our streets.’

<em>Target – Darren Osborne told the court his original plan was to try and kill Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (Pictures: PA)</em>
Target – Darren Osborne told the court his original plan was to try and kill Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (Pictures: PA)

He added it would have been ‘even better’ if London Mayor Sadiq Khan had been at the march, telling the court: ‘It would have been like winning the lottery.’

Beginning his evidence, Osborne denied he was the driver of the van involved in the attack, saying it was a “guy called Dave” who he had met in a pub in Treforest in early April or March last year.

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He told the court that he had also met a man called Terry Jones, and that the three of them would discuss their social and political views.

He said the trio had originally planned to go to Rochdale, referring to a Labour councillor in Rochdale who he claimed had backed one of the members of the grooming gang, but the plan had not been put into effect.

<em>Osborne is accused of deliberately mowing down Muslims outside two North London mosques on June 19 last year, leaving one dead and several injured</em>
Osborne is accused of deliberately mowing down Muslims outside two North London mosques on June 19 last year, leaving one dead and several injured

Osborne said the Labour councillor in Rochdale – Aftab Hussain – ‘was and is and will remain a target’.

Asked by the prosecutor: ‘You are essentially admitting, together with Dave and Terry, that you have conspired to murder this man, Mr Hussain?,’ Osborne replied: ‘This man should not be in office. He is still a sitting MP for Rochdale.’

Asked what got in the way of the trio’s initial plan, he said: “We just wanted more casualties.”

Osborne told the court that the trio had met at Grosvenor Square but “road blocks” had stopped them from getting near the march and “thwarted their plans”.

When asked by defence barrister Lisa Wilding QC how he had ended up in the Finsbury Park area, Osborne said it was because it was Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency, and claimed that ‘Dave’ and ‘Terry’ were going to meet him there.

Osborne denies the murder of Makram Ali, 51, and attempted murder of “persons at the junction of Seven Sisters Road and Whadcoat Street, London”.