The suspect behind the Finsbury Park terrorist attack may have intended to target a pro-Palestinian march, but got drunk, missed it, and went for the North London worshipers instead.
Father-of-four Darren Osborne is said to have told locals at a Cardiff pub on Saturday he was “going to do something about them” after finding out about the protest in London planned for the next day.
According to the pub’s landlord, Andy Parker, Osborne spent the evening ranting about the Al Quds day rally, which highlights the oppression of Palestinians. But the alleged attacker went on a bender and reportedly passed out in the cab of the van he allegedly used on Monday to mow down a group of people.
“The gentleman came in and was very political with everyone he spoke to,” Parker told the Telegraph.
“He was very motivated about the Muslim Al Quds day rally going on on Sunday in London and kept saying: ‘Our brothers and sisters are dying and someone needs to do something about it.’”
Parker, who runs the Hollybush pub in the east Cardiff district of Pentwyn, added: “He kept saying he would do something about it, but he kept going on about it, and was saying we need to ‘stand up to Muslims.’”
Another local said Osborne had been “making notes on a piece of paper.”
South Wales Police confirmed they were called to reports of a van parked insecurely on a street in Cardiff, around 24 hours before the attack in Finsbury Park.
Look at Darren Osborne waving bye after he is arrested. What a cunt! If you’re white you can use the mental illness card 😉 smh pic.twitter.com/TCLDvTwyWf
— Trevor 🐐 (@Trevor_rr) 21 June 2017
“Officers attended, a male was asleep inside the vehicle, which showed no signs of having been driven recently,” a statement from the force said. “The officers’ assessment was that no offences were disclosed.”
In a separate report, Osborne’s sister claimed he had previously been sent to rehab due to a drug and alcohol addiction.
“Darren was sent to rehab about 20 years ago to try to help him over his drug and alcohol problems,” Nicola Osborne told the Daily Mail.
“He was sent to one of the best clinics in the country. The kind of place where the rich and famous go to get treatment. It was all paid for by the social [services].”
Nicola, an artist, went as far as describing her brother as “never normal,” having once badly injured his fingers and never seeking treatment.
She added that her younger sibling had been suicidal in recent months, following the separation from his long-term partner.
“He tried to kill himself six, eight weeks ago. He threw himself into the river in Cardiff,” she said.
“He asked to be taken into care, to be sectioned, but they wouldn’t do it. He was on antidepressants. He came to see me after he tried to kill himself. He showed me the bump on his head. I don’t know how he got out of the river, or really what happened.
“He asked me if he could stay. But he has made my life a misery over the years. Weston is a small town. Everyone knows Darren. I’ve lost jobs, boyfriends after people found out I am Darren Osborne’s sister. And this happened on my birthday, on my 50th birthday.”