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Man jailed for life over murder of Zara Aleena

|News, Violent crime

A man who murdered a woman as she returned home after a night out has been jailed for life with a minimum of 38 years.

Jordan McSweeney, 29, pleaded guilty to the murder and sexual assault of Zara Aleena at the Central Criminal Court last month.

Jordan McSweeney has been jailed for the murder of Zara Aleena
Jordan McSweeney 

McSweeney, who had recently been released from prison, followed Ms Aleena, 35, as she walked home in Ilford, east London, in the early hours of Sunday, 26 June.

The law graduate had been out with a friend in the centre of Ilford, and left to walk home around 2am while her friend took a taxi.

CCTV footage showed after leaving a bar, Ms Aleena walked up the High Road and onto Cranbrook Road in the direction of Gants Hill Station.

McSweeney was seen on the footage following Ms Aleena along Cranbrook Road before approaching her from behind and dragging her into the front garden of a property.

He then subjected her to a brutal attack, leaving her with significant injuries. Ms Aleena died in hospital later that morning.

McSweeney, who was not known to Ms Aleena, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 38 years for murder today at the Central Criminal Court.

For the sexual assault of Ms Aleena, McSweeney was sentenced to four years' imprisonment to be served concurrently. 

Senior Crown Prosecutor Olcay Sapanoglu said: “This was a savage attack on a woman who was making her way home. She should have been able to get home safely but was instead subjected to horrific and shocking violence at the hands of McSweeney.

“My thanks go to the police for the thoroughness of their investigation, which allowed us to build an irrefutable case against McSweeney.

“No sentence can ever repair the grief that Zara’s family and friends will be experiencing, but I do hope they now have some small measure of comfort from this life term.

“Violence against women and girls has no place in our society. At the CPS, we are determined to bring perpetrators of these devastating crimes to justice.”

Notes to editors

  • Jordan McSweeney (DOB 26/3/1993) is of no fixed abode.
  • Olcay Sapanoglu is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the London Homicide unit in CPS London North.

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