The mother of the Finsbury Park suspect last night said she was ‘not going to defend’ her son and revealed she screamed in horror when she saw him on television.
Christine Osborne, 72, said that she had not seen her 47-year-old son Darren in one month and described him as being a ‘complex’ person.
Her son, from Cardiff, South Wales, was arrested on suspicion of murder and terror offences. She described the incident in Finsbury Park, North London, on Monday morning as being an ‘atrocity’ and spoke about her son’s mental health issues.
She said: ‘I’m not going to defend him, but he’s my son and it’s a terrible, terrible shock.
‘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.
‘He is disturbed, and has been on medication. He’s unemployed at the moment. He’s got problems, but he’s also got a wife and four kids, and we can’t talk to his partner Sarah, she’s somewhere safe.’
With her grandson Ellis, 26, who is mixed-race, next to her, she added: ‘Darren would stand up and die for Ellis.’
‘He’s never spoken to me about terror attacks or talked about “bloody Muslims” – never in a million years and that’s the truth.
‘As a mum my heart goes out to everyone in Finsbury Park.’
It is alleged that Osborne – who was not known to police and MI5 – hired an £80-a-day van from South Wales before driving to the Muslim Welfare House in north London.