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Man pleads guilty to murder and sexual assault of woman

|News, Violent crime

A man has pleaded guilty to the murder and sexual assault of Zara Aleena in Ilford, east London, on 26 June, 2022.

Jordan McSweeney, 29, today admitted the murder and sexual assault of Ms Aleena, 35, at his plea and trial preparation hearing at the Central Criminal Court.

McSweeney followed Ms Aleena as she walked home after a night out with a friend before pulling her into the driveway of a house and brutally attacking her.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Olcay Sapanoglu said: “We welcome today the guilty pleas by Jordan McSweeney to the murder and sexual assault of Zara Aleena in the early hours of Saturday, 26 June, 2022.

“It was an horrific attack on a woman walking home after a night out with a friend.

“It appears clear that McSweeney was intent that night on finding a woman to attack. Having seen Zara walking home he decided to follow her.

“Having followed her for several minutes he pulled Zara into the driveway of a house, where he carried out his assault.

“He sexually assaulted her, then brutally stamped on her several times before appearing to walk away. Moments later he returned, only to stamp on her several times more and then, finally, leaving her for dead.

“McSweeney did not display a shred of humanity towards Zara. Indeed, having completed his initial assault he returned to inflict further injuries, leading to her death. At no stage during his police interviews did he express any sorrow for his actions.

“Zara’s family will never recover from the senseless loss of their daughter, but I hope that these guilty pleas bring them some comfort.

“Finally, I would like to pay tribute to the police, who worked tirelessly to trace Zara’s killer allowing us to build the strongest case possible against McSweeney.”

McSweeney is due to be sentenced at the Central Criminal Court on 14 December. 

Notes to editors

  • Jordan McSweeney (DOB 26/3/1993) is from Dagenham in East London.
  • Olcay Sapanoglu is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the London Homicide unit in CPS London North.

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