herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Family of mosque attack suspect 'massively shocked'

David Osborne
David Osborne

The family of the London mosque attack suspect say they are "massively shocked" and "devastated" by what has happened.

Darren Osborne, from Cardiff, in south Wales, is being held by police on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and alleged terror offences.

Relatives and acquaintances of the 47-year-old father-of-four have described him as "complex" and "troubled".

Witnesses said he shouted he wanted to "kill all Muslims" after he drove a rented van into a crowd leaving a mosque in Finsbury Park, north London, early on Monday morning.

One man, who was receiving first aid at the time of the attack, has died. It is unclear whether his death was a result of the attack or a previous condition.

Nine people were taken to hospital after the attack. Two others were treated for minor injuries at the scene.

In a statement on behalf of the family, Osborne's nephew, Ellis Osborne (26), said: "We are massively shocked. It's unbelievable."

Mr Osborne said his uncle was "not a racist" and said he had never expressed any racist views.

Osborne's sister, Nicola, said her brother had been "troubled for a long time".

Terrible

His mother, Christine, described him as a "complex" person. "I'm not going to defend him but he's my son and it's a terrible, terrible shock," she said.

"It's not just robbing a bank, it's an atrocity. And at this moment in time, I can't cope with it - I can't. I don't want to say anything more."

Police were searching an address where Osborne was said to be living before the attack.

It is understood there was no evidence he belonged to any far-right organisation and that he was not known to the security services.

One of his neighbours, Khadijh Sherazi, said she had never had any problems with Osborne until the weekend when he walked up to her 12-year-old son and called him an "inbred". He was also thrown out of a local pub for "cursing Muslims".

It is believed that Osborne acted alone but the Metropolitan Police are investigating all circumstances leading up to the attack.

"All the victims were from the Muslim community," said police.

"We will be deploying extra police patrols to reassure the public, especially those observing Ramadan."

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