Man who drove van into London mosque worshippers jailed for 43 years

James O'Brien

In her sentencing remarks, Judge Cheema-Grubb praised Mohammed Mahmoud, the imam of the local mosque, for intervening to prevent the crowd from attacking him. His behaviour throws into sharp relief the bile spewed out online from those who aspire the lead the haters.

'He chose to respond to evil with good'. "His response should be everyone's response, whether it is to the evil of child grooming and abuse in Rochdale or the evil of terrorist atrocities in our cities".

Mohammed Mahmoud, of the Muslim Welfare House, protected Darren Osborne when he was wrestled to the ground in the aftermath of his murderous van rampage on June 19 a year ago.

During the sentencing hearing, Ali's daughter, Ruzina Akhtar, said she could not describe the pain she and her relatives had suffered.

Speaking from the dock after the sentences were passed, Osborne, told the judge: "God bless you, thank you".

Sue Hemming, head of counter-terrorism for the Crown Prosecution Service, said prosecutors had been been "clear throughout that this was a terrorist attack".

"The last few months have been very hard for our family, as we have tried to adjust to life without our father", Akhtar told the media following the sentencing.

Osborne, a "total loner", had become obsessed with Muslims after watching BBC drama Three Girls in May previous year and was angered by what he deemed as inaction following a string of United Kingdom terror attacks, his estranged partner Sarah Andrews said.

In the statement she said: "My heart was shattered when I saw my father lying in the morgue".

"Our father, like the victims of most terrorism, was entirely innocent which makes his death in this violent way all the more hurtful and we can not imagine the trauma he felt in the last few minutes", said Ruzina Akhtar, one of Bangladeshi-born Ali's six children.

She said: "My son is always asking where his grandad is and why he can not go to the park every day to play with him any more. She will now sleep with her children as she finds comfort in it".

"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. He said "Dave" had taken his place in the driver's seat minutes before the attack and was the one responsible.

He told his trial that he hoped to kill the leftist Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in the attack, as it would have been "one less terrorist off our streets", while killing Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan as well "would have been like winning the lottery".

He denied charges of murder and attempted murder but submitted no statement in his defence until Friday - after hearing five days of evidence proving his guilt.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) welcomed the conviction of Darren Osborne on Thursday but underlined how far-right propaganda effectively targeted the Muslim community in Britain.

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