LONDON, United Kingdom — A man accused of deliberately driving a van into a group of London Muslims told his trial on Tuesday that he wanted to kill the British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Darren Osborne said killing the leftist Labour leader 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.”
Osborne is accused of murdering 51-year-old Makram Ali and trying to kill others in the Finsbury Park area of north London on June 19 last year, after growing angry at recent terror attacks and child sexual exploitation scandals involving gangs of mainly Muslim men, the trial has heard.
Osborne, 48, from the Welsh capital Cardiff, denies the charges.
He is accused of deliberately driving a van at a group of Muslims who had been attending Ramadan prayers at local mosques.
Taking the stand at Woolwich Crown Court in southeast London, Osborne claimed he had plotted with two men called Terry Jones and Dave to “plow through as many” people as possible at a pro-Palestinian march.
Corbyn was believed to be attending the central London event but was not there, and road closures meant there was no way for the vehicle to get close to marchers, Osborne said.
Prosecutor Jonathan Rees asked him: “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.”
“If Sadiq Khan had been there it would have been even better. It would have been like winning the lottery.”
Osborne claimed that at the time of the collision in the Finsbury Park area, Dave was driving, and carried out the “spontaneous” attack.
Both prosecutor and defendant agreed it was “remarkable” that Dave had managed to escape the scene of the attack.
Rees said Dave and Terry were “totally fabricated” by Osborne in order to deflect responsibility away from himself.
In his opening statement, Rees told jurors that Osborne was “obsessed” with Muslims and deliberately drove into a group near a mosque in what amounted to an act of terrorism.
At its opening on January 22, the trial was set to last two weeks.