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Man Charged With The Murder And Attempted Rape Of Zara Aleena

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Man Charged With The Murder And Attempted Rape Of Zara Aleena

A man has been charged with the attempted rape, robbery and murder of 35-year-old Zara Aleena in east London on Sunday (June 26).

Jordan McSweeney, 29, is accused of carrying out the attack in the early hours of the morning just hours from Aleena's Ilford home.

The man, who is homeless, is now scheduled to appear before Thames Magistrates Court today (June 29), as reported by Redbridge Police.

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Aleena had been making her way home from a night out, according to ITV News, and was walking along what was typically a busy road.

The attack was carried out at random and police were first alerted at 2:45 am, finding Aleena in a serious condition before she later died in hospital.

A neighbour, 76, explained that the area was extremely familiar to Aleena and was between her home and that of her mother.

Zara Aleena. Credit: Metropolitan Police
Zara Aleena. Credit: Metropolitan Police
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The pensioner, who classed the 35-year-old as a friend, described her as 'the most lovely, kind, thoughtful, generous and intelligent person.'

She also opened up about her increasingly bright future that has now been stolen from her. "She'd just finished, over a few years, doing a law degree.

"She passed last September with distinction. She was going to be a solicitor.

"Everyone knew her and everyone liked her. She was friends with everyone. She didn't have a bad bone in her body.

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"She was just absolutely wonderful in every way. She was 35 and I'm 76 but she was always looking out for me.

"For this to happen to anybody is awful, but to happen to her is a terrible terrible tragedy."

Aleena was attacked on Ilford's Cranbrook Road. Credit: Alamy
Aleena was attacked on Ilford's Cranbrook Road. Credit: Alamy

The death has now raised further questions about the safety of women on Britain's streets as it comes just over a year since the highly publicised death of Sarah Everard at the hands of a serving Met police officer.

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A woman who lives a few doors away from Zara's home said she does not think it's safe for women in the area to be out alone after 6:00pm.

"I've lived here for more than 60 years and it's always women this happens to," Melanie said. "It's such a waste of life but I don't know how we can get over this - the police won't be on the street at 2:00am.

"I think we need to learn how to look after ourselves. We're looking out for everybody around here now."

Aleena's family are scheduled to hold a vigil in her memory this Saturday (2 July).

Featured Image Credit: Met Police Handout/Alamy

Topics: News

Emma Guinness
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