Zara Aleena’s killer stalked four other women before murdering law graduate


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Zara Aleena’s savage killer stalked at least four other women before he murdered the law graduate within days of him being released from prison.

Career criminal Jordan McSweeney was today jailed for at least 38 years for the ‘brutal sexually motivated murder’.

He was caught on CCTV drunkenly lurching in the street after being ejected from a pub for pestering a female member of staff.

The 29-year-old then followed three women and confronted a fourth before he targeted Ms Aleena, 35, as she waked home from a night out early on Sunday June 26.

McSweeney grabbed her from behind and dragged her into a driveway along Cranbrooke road in Ilford, east London.

Oliver Glasgow KC, prosecuting, said: ‘Despite being only yards from a public street and from residential properties, the defendant attacked Zara Aleena with a savagery that is almost impossible to believe.

‘He repeatedly kicked and stamped on her head and body, he tore some of her clothes from her body in order that he could sexually assault her, and then he attacked her again, kicking and stamping on her face and neck, and returning several times to continue the brutal violence.

‘Finally, once satisfied that she would no longer be able to report him for what he had done, he walked away, taking her mobile telephone with him which he threw over a garden wall, thus ensuring that neither she nor anyone else who might find her could use the phone to call for help.’

Law graduate Zara Aleena was murdered as she walked home after a night out (Picture: PA)

The attack lasted nine minutes and resulted in 46 separate injuries.

McSweeney was then laughing with his friends after the brutal attack.

Mr Glasgow said: ‘He walked back to the caravan where he was living and the following morning, having hidden the bloodstained clothes and shoes he had been wearing during the attack, was seen laughing and joking with his friends; seemingly without any concern for what he had done or for the fate he had forced upon Zara Aleena.’

Ms Aleena was found with severe head injuries and struggling to breathe.

Jordan McSweeney has been jailed for at least 38 years (Picture: PA)

Emergency services were called at 2.44am but she died in hospital from compression to the neck and blunt force trauma to the head.

Mr Glasgow told the court: ‘At the time she was attacked, Zara Aleena was only minutes from her front door and she had every right to feel safe on the street – streets where she lived and which she knew well.

‘But once she had become a target for this defendant that right was taken from her in a terrifying and ruthless manner, and, quite simply, she stood no chance of survival.’

Police identified McSweeney from a bloody fingerprint at the scene and chilling CCTV footage which was played in court.

McSweeney was captured on CCTV stalking four other women before he attacked Ms Aleena (Picture: PA)

The killer crossed a busy road, narrowly avoiding being hit by a car, to stalk a woman (Picture: PA)

Ms Aleena was described as a ‘happy woman living her life in what most Londoners think of as the best city in the world’ (Picture: PA)

While in custody, McSweeney was violent towards officers after refusing to answer their questions.

He refused to come up from the cells at the Old Bailey to be sentenced today, saying he did not want to watch footage of what he had done.

In a televised sentencing, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb jailed him in his absence for life with a minimum term of 38 years.

Ms Aleena was a talented and spirited woman, the judge said, adding: ‘The defendant had the advantage of strength and surprise. In everything else, she was better than him.

‘She was simply a happy, healthy woman living her life in what most Londoners think of as the best city in the world.’

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