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Darren Osborne denies being Finsbury Park terror driver, blames ‘Dave’

Darren Osborne is alleged to have deliberately mowed down people outside two mosques in north London.

A man accused of carrying out the Finsbury Park terror attack has denied driving the van which mowed down Muslims in north London.

Darren Osborne, of Glyn Rhosyn in Cardiff, is alleged to have deliberately mowed down people outside two mosques in north London shortly after 12.15am on June 19 last year, leaving one dead and several injured.

Witnesses saw the white vehicle accelerating as it approached the group, leaving them “splattered all over the place” and killing Makram Ali, the jury at Woolwich Crown Court has previously been told.

But taking to the witness box on Tuesday afternoon, Osborne denied he was the driver of the van involved.

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Van allegedly driven by Darren Osborne

Defence barrister Lisa Wilding QC said to Osborne: “Were you the driver of the van?”

Osborne replied: “No.”

Ms Wilding said: “Did you know who was the driver of the van?”

The defendant said: “A guy called Dave.”

Ms Wilding said: “Do you know Dave’s other name?”

Osborne said: “No I do not.”

The defendant said he knew Dave and had met him in a pub in Treforest, called the Pick and Shovel, in early April or March last year.

Osborne 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.

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COURTS Finsbury

He said the trio had originally planned to go to Rochdale, Greater Manchester, adding: “That was our intended target.”

Asked if this plan had been put into effect, he said: “Unfortunately not.”

Earlier Jonathan Rees QC, concluding the prosecution case, said the final evidence would deal with the issue of who was driving at the time of the attack and whether the alleged perpetrator acted with others.

Detective Constable Paul Dring, of the Metropolitan Police, said he was told by Osborne during an urgent safety interview conducted at University College Hospital that no-one else was involved, the court heard.

According to a statement read by Mr Rees, he asked: “In terms of what happened today, is there anyone else involved?

“To which Mr Osborne replied ‘No’.”

The court heard that at the end of the interview, Mr Dring asked: “Finally from me, is there anything at all that you know about that could harm anyone?”

“Mr Osborne says ‘No’.”

After a pause Osborne added “I’m flying solo”, Mr Rees told the jury.

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Makram Ali was killed in the attack (PA)

The court was also shown footage from the body camera of Pc David Jones, who is said to have handcuffed Mr Osborne while he was on the ground after the incident.

A man the prosecution say is Osborne can be heard saying in the back of the police vehicle “I lost control of the van” and “lost control, man”.

Mr Jones said: “Were you driving, yeah?”

The man is heard to reply: “Yeah.”

Asked if he had been drinking, the man said he had consumed a “couple of pints”.

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

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