LONDON: Paying tribute to terror victims, the government and community leader have vowed that terrorists “will never succeed” in dividing Britain, leaders have vowed at a service to mark a year since the Fins bury Park attack.
Relatives of victim Makram Ali joined survivors, Muslim leaders and politicians including the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, and Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, at commemorations at Islington Town Hall.
According to an Independent report, before a minute’s silence was marked, the mayor of London spoke against all forms of terrorism in the wake of the far-right attack and a wave of atrocities inspired by Iis.
“Terrorism is terrorism, no matter the target and regardless of what motivates the sick and twisted perpetrators who carry out these evil crimes,” Sadiq Khan said.
“When Londoners face adversity, we stand up for our values, we stay strong, and we remain united. This is our city, this is our way of life, and those who seek to divide us should know this: You will never succeed.”
Mr Khan and Mr Corbyn were among the targets of Darren Osborne’s original plan to ram a van into Muslim demonstrators at a pro-Palestinian march in central London on 18 June last year. Osborne, a 48-year-old unemployed alcoholic from Wales, was unable to reach the Al-Quds Day protest because of security measures and drove on to Finsbury Park, speeding into a crowd of Muslims gathered near the Muslim Welfare House shortly after midnight.
He killed Mr Ali, a grandfather who had collapsed shortly before and was being helped by bystanders, and injured 12 other people, before telling survivors: “I’ve done my job, you can kill me now.” Mr Corbyn, a local resident and MP, said the community’s “solidarity and strength” was a testament to Mr Ali’s memory. He praised the actions of Imam Mohammed Mahmoud, who stopped survivors beating Osborne after he tried to flee and helped police detain him.
“Imam Mahmoud did a brilliant and wonderful job in making sure that hatred of racism didn’t turn into violence and anger on the streets that night,” Mr Corbyn said. “He helped to ensure that we came together as a community, because that is the only response there can ever be to the racists that seek to divide us.”
Speaking at Tuesday’s commemorations, Imam Mahmoud said the community had united against hatred, bigotry and the rhetoric of the far-right and today “we stand not just as one London but as one UK”. Osborne was jailed for life with a minimum of 43 years in February, after a court heard he had been radicalised within weeks after watching a drama on the Rochdale grooming scandal and consuming online posts by Tommy Robinson, Britain First and other far-right figures.
Darren Osborne, who tried to blame his suicide mission terror attack on a man named only as Dave, racked up a legal aid bill of more than £28,000. Osborne first told police there was no-one else involved in the attack, but then gave what was described as a “frankly absurd” last-minute defence in court, claiming that someone called Dave was actually responsible for the murderous rampage.
The jury took just one hour to convict Osborne in February, with trial judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb saying they had seen through his “pathetic last-ditch attempt to deceive them by blaming someone else for your crimes”.
Osborne’s legal aid bill amounted to £28,407.03, a Freedom of Information request by the Press Association revealed. Solicitor costs for the nine-day trial at Woolwich Crown Court earlier this year had not been claimed at the time of the request, the Legal Aid Agency (LAA)said, meaning the final bill could be higher. The total figure so far includes barrister costs of £26,948.99,solicitor costs at the police station of £691.24 and other legal costs known as disbursements of £766.80.