Zara Aleena: Man, 29, charged with murder and attempted rape

Jordan McSweeney will appear in Thames Magistrates' Court today

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Jordan McSweeney, 29, of no fixed abode, has been charged with the murder of 35-year-old Zara Aleena, attempted rape and robbery, the Metropolitan Police said.

He will appear in custody at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Ms Aleena was found suffering head injuries in Cranbrook Road, Ilford, east London, in the early hours of Sunday.

She died in hospital later that morning.

Zara Aleena
Zara Aleena

Tributes were paid to Ms Aleena following her death while returning home from a night out.

Her best friend Lisa shared the last messages they shared before her untimely death.

She wrote: "We were meant to be together this weekend but I had to cancel and arranged to meet next weekend.

"I wish I had met her this weekend."

The University of Westminster said Ms Aleena was a law graduate who last year gained a postgraduate diploma in legal practice.

A spokeswoman said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the news that our former law school student and graduate Zara Aleena has lost her life in such a tragic way. Our thoughts are with Zara’s family and loved ones at this dreadful time.

“Zara was awarded the LLB with honours in 2011 and the postgraduate diploma in legal practice in 2021. She is remembered clearly and fondly by all who taught her.

“She was a warm, gentle and open young woman, popular with both staff and fellow students. She would often go out of her way to help others.

“We have pastoral support available for our students and colleagues affected by the tragic news.”

According to reports, Ms Aleena was working as an administrative officer at the Royal Courts of Justice.