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Man who drove van into crowd of Muslims outside Finsbury Park mosque guilty of murder

From Yahoo News, the Telegraph and the Independent. When I read the newspapers during lunch, before I went out for the afternoon, The Independent was live blogging the Judge's summing up. Assuming they reported her words accurately she was directing the jury towards a conviction. And when she said she would be concluding after 2pm and sending the jury out mid afternoon I felt that she expected a quick decision and a guilty verdict. I was right. 

A jury took just under an hour to reach the unanimous verdicts.. Osborne, who had denied both charges, nodded and looked around the courtroom as the verdicts were delivered at Woolwich Crown Court on Thursday following an eight-day trial.

From the Independent this morning

The jury is back in court and the judge, Justice Cheema-Grubb, is now addressing the jury.

Justice Cheema-Grubb "There is no defence to the murder of a Muslim on the basis that some Muslims have abused children or carried out terror attacks."

The judge says that for the alleged offences there is no defence of being "in the grip of moral outrage", being led astray or "being an inadequate loner who was rapidly radicalised by far-right material on the internet.

The judge has explained why Mr Osborne is not charged with a terrorism offence, because "murder is murder" and specific laws are not needed. She says: "It is unnecessary for the prosecution to bring specific terror charges in this case because murder is murder, whether done for terror motives or some other motive."

However now that the prosecution have a conviction the Telegraph reports

He will be sentenced at a later date and the judge will be asked to take account of the fact this was a terrorist act when deciding on the length of the prison term.

It will be life imprisonment, that is mandatory for murder, but the Judge will be expected to set a tariff of time that must be served before parole etc can be considered. I'm not sure it is completely ethical to ask that a man be sentenced  for something he was not charged with. 

Justice Cheema-Grubb said she would sentence Mr Osborne on Friday morning.

Thanking the jury for their service, she added: "These verdicts have an impact far wider than inside this courtroom...they are one of hte most important things you have done in your lives."

Commenting on the verdict, HOPE not hate's chief executive, Nick Lowles, said: "This case highlights the pernicious nature and danger of online hate and sadly confirms the threat from right-wing extremism, which we have long warned about. But it also highlights the role that far-right figures and right-wing media have played in propelling anti-Muslim hatred into the mainstream.

"We have long argued that the authorities have not properly understood the nature of anti-Muslim extremism and rhetoric and the potential impact it can have on the Darren Osbornes of this world."

Lowles is right, for the wrong reasons there is a groundswell of anger mounting particularly since the Manchester Arena bombing, which was aimed at killing little girls and their mums. The Yahoo comments are more sympathetic to Darren Osborne than I expected ; I confess I am surprised how open some people are being. The government disregards public concern at their peril. 

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