Finsbury Park terror accused hoped to kill Jeremy Corbyn, he tells court
Darren Osborne said it ‘would have been even better’ if London mayor Sadiq Khan had been there.
A man accused of carrying out a terror attack at Finsbury Park had hoped to kill Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, he told a court.
Darren Osborne, of Glyn Rhosyn in Cardiff, deliberately mowed down Muslims outside two mosques in north London using a van shortly after 12.15am on June 19 last year, prosecutors have alleged.
The 48-year-old, taking to the witness stand to give evidence, said he met with two people called Dave and Terry Jones.
The trio had planned to target the Al Quds march, expressing support for Palestinians, in London, which they believed Mr Corbyn would be attending, Woolwich Crown Court heard.
The defendant said they had initially conspired to attack Rochdale Labour councillor Aftab Hussain, who he said had backed one of the members of a grooming gang, but changed their minds.
“We just wanted more casualties,” Osborne told the jury.
Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC, cross-examining, said: “More people dead if possible?”
Osborne replied: “Oh yeah.”
The defendant, who denies being the driver of the vehicle involved in the Finsbury Park collision, said he met Terry and Dave in Grosvenor Square on June 18, where the Al Qud march was due to finish.
Mr Rees said: “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.”
He went on: “If Sadiq Khan had been there it would have been even better. It would have been like winning the lottery.”
He said “road blocks” had “thwarted their plans” to disrupt the demonstration, and they later met again in Finsbury Park where they looked for a mosque.
Osborne said he was earlier driving the van, but was in the footwell of the passenger seat removing his trousers before the collision near two mosques.
Defence barrister Lisa Wilding QC said: “Did you know who was the driver of the van?”
The defendant replied: “A guy called Dave.”
Asked if he had contact with Terry and Dave after the attack, Osborne told the court: “We were planning to form a group, like the Welsh far-right group.
“We were going to call ourselves the ‘Taffia’.”
Osborne denies the murder of Makram Ali, 51, and the attempted murder of “persons at the junction of Seven Sisters Road and Whadcoat Street, London”.