Zara Aleena: Jordan McSweeney - Ilford stranger attack murder suspect - appears in court for first time

Jordan McSweeney, 29, of Dagenham, appeared in custody at Thames Magistrates’ Court charged with her murder.

A man accused of the murder of a trainee lawyer as she walked home was remanded in custody when he appeared in court today.

Zara Aleena, 35, was attacked in Ilford, Redbridge, around 2.30am on Sunday. She suffered serious head injuries and died later that morning in hospital.

Jordan McSweeney, 29, appeared in custody at Thames Magistrates’ Court charged with her murder.

Zara Aleena was killed as she made her way home.

McSweeney, of Dagenham, is also accused of trying to rape Ms Aleena as well as robbing her of her mobile phone, keys and handbag.

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“Sadly, Zara is not the only one who has had her life taken at the hands of a stranger.

“We all know women should be safe on our streets. She was in the heart of her community, ten minutes from home.”

Zara Aleena with her best friend Lisa. Credit: Facebook

Her family also said that Ms Aleena was on a two-year work placement with the Crown Prosecution Service.

Wearing a grey prison tracksuit McSweeney, spoke only to confirm his name, age and address.

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He will remanded to appear appear next at the Old Bailey for a bail hearing on July 1. A further hearing was scheduled for July 27.