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Finsbury Park van driver “continued smiling” after attack – victims recall horror and injuries in court

Finsbury Park van driver “continued smiling” after attack – victims recall horror and injuries in court

Categories: Latest News

Friday January 26 2018

Witnesses at the trial of Darren Osborne, the man accused of driving a van into worshippers outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, have told how the alleged attacker smiled at those present in the crowd after the incident.

Worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park shortly after the attack on 19th June described seeing victims “splattered all over the place”.

Osborne, a 48-year-old from Cardiff, is on trial for murder and attempted murder following the attack which occurred after night prayers during the month of Ramadan, which resulted in the death of 51-year-old Makram Ali, and left 9 others injured.

Adnan Mohamud told Woolwich Crown Court he had been praying next to Mr Ali, and called 999 after seeing Mr Ali collapse in front of him a short distance outside the mosque.

The call was played in court, with sounds of people shouting and screaming in the background. Mr Mohamud told the operator: “Someone just came in a big white van and ran over a lot of people… people are dead, he just ran over everyone.”

Mr Mohamud was hit on his left side and in his witness statement described seeing the van going over Mr Ali and scattering other victims.

Osborne then tried to flee by climbing a fence but ran back to the scene and was tackled to the ground by worshippers outside the mosque.

Mr Mohamud said, “I remember him saying: ‘I’ve done my job, you can kill me now’. He was smiling as he said it.”

“He was being taken to the police van and I will never forget how he was always smiling.”

Ibrahim Benaounda, giving testimony at the court, stated that he could feel his bones breaking as he spun in the air, describing the impact as like being “on a rollercoaster”. He suffered fractures to his ribs and spine, injuries to his spleen and internal bleeding from the impact of the incident.

Hamdi al-Faiq, another victim, was left under the van after being hit, with his cousin amongst 50 members of the public that worked to lift the van and pull him free. Mr al-Faiq told the court, “I saw a shadow of something coming, I thought it was an ambulance. I felt something hit me, very strong. And then I was unconscious.”

Mr al-Faiq suffered a catalogue of injuries, including multiple rib fractures, lung contusions, a broken left collarbone, a complex fracture to the pelvis, a fractured left forearm, fractured left foot and wounds to his right foot.

Several witnesses said they feared the van driver could be armed and potentially attack them with a knife or gun.

The trial continues.


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