Zara Aleena´s killer facing life for brutal sexually motivated attack

Predator hunted four women on night he killed Zara Aleena… then told police he was ‘bored’ after arrest for ‘savage’ murder of law graduate near her home – as he still refuses to enter court for sentence

  • Jordan McSweeney will be sentenced today for the murder of Zara Aleena
  • The 29-year-old brutally attacked and then sexually assaulted the law graduate
  • He has not entered the dock to avoid watching CCTV from night of murder

A sexual predator facing life in prison for murdering Zara Aleena, is still refusing to enter the court because he doesn’t want to watch the CCTV of what he did.

Jordan McSweeney is being sentenced today for killing the 35-year-old law graduate as she walked home from a night out early on Sunday June 26.

The court heard how McSweeney was yawning and told police that he was bored during an interview after he was arrested.

While CCTV footage showed him wondering around the streets searching for a woman to attack. 

Opening the facts, prosecutor Oliver Glasgow KC told how McSweeney had been ejected from a pub in Ilford, east London, after drunkenly ‘pestering’ a member of staff on the evening of June 25.

He was caught on CCTV lurching in the street and following at four other women before he targeted Ms Aleena as she walked home from a night out in the early hours of June 26.

He stalked her along Cranbrook Road before grabbing her from behind and dragging her into a driveway to carry out the ‘savage and brutal attack’.

Last month, McSweeney, 29, of Dagenham, Essex, pleaded guilty to her murder and sexual assault.

Jordan McSweeney  will be sentenced later today for killing Zara Aleena. He ambushed her and punched her in the back of the head before dragging the 35-year-old into a driveway and kicking her early on Sunday June 26

Zara Aleena (pictured), 35, who had recently started work at the Royal Courts of Justice, died after she was ambushed as she walked home in the early hours of the morning

Undated CCTV image issued by the Metropolitan Police of sexual predator Jordan McSweeney just before he attacked Zara Aleena

After his arrest, McSweeney refused to answer questions but told officers he had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) 

McSweeney had 28 previous convictions for 69 separate offences at the time of the murder including burglary, theft of a vehicle, criminal damage, assaulting police officers and assaulting members of the public while on bail.

The Metropolitan Police said the Probation Service had commenced recall proceedings on June 22, just days before the murder, after he missed two appointments.

The force said it was informed on June 24 and attended an address linked to McSweeney the following day to arrest him but he was not there, and he was subsequently arrested on June 27.

Previously, prosecutor Oliver Glasgow KC had said Ms Aleena ‘stood no chance’ when she was targeted by McSweeney in Cranbrooke Road, Ilford, east London.

Ms Aleena was dragged into a driveway, brutally kicked, stamped on and sexually assaulted, then left for dead.

Emergency services were called at 2.44am after she was found with severe head injuries and struggling to breathe.

Ms Aleena was taken to hospital where she died later that morning from multiple injuries.

Met Police tried to arrest McSweeney the day before he murdered Zara Aleena

June 17 – McSweeney is released from prison on licence

June 22 – The Probation Service commences recall proceedings after McSweeney misses two appointments

June 24 – Met Police are made aware of the recall proceedings

June 25 – Police go to arrest McSweeney at an addressed linked to him, but he was not there

June 25 – McSweeney is kicked out of a pub for making ‘persistent advances’ to a female member of bar staff

June 26 –  McSweeney follows at least two other women before he violently attacked and sexually assaulted Zara Aleena 

June 26 – Emergency services are called at 2:44am and Ms Aleena is taken to hospital where she died later that morning from multiple injuries

June 27 – McSweeney is arrested

November 18 – The 29-year-old pleads guilty to murder and sexual assault

December 14 – McSweeney is sentenced

Police officers gathered CCTV footage, witness statements, DNA and even a bloody fingerprint left by the attacker at the scene.

Video footage from the area showed McSweeney appearing to target two other women before he followed Ms Aleena.

After the killing, other CCTV captured him returning to a caravan on a fairground, where police recovered Ms Aleena’s bloodstained clothes.

After being arrested, McSweeney refused to answer questions in a police interview.

Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow KC told the court today: ‘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.’

Earlier on the evening of June 25, McSweeney had been ejected from a pub for making ‘persistent advances’ to a female member of bar staff.

Mr Glasgow said the defendant then ‘roamed the streets looking for a woman to attack and to sexually assault’.

He told the court: ‘He followed a number of different women and, given what happened to Zara Aleena, there can be no doubt that they were lucky to have escaped unharmed. Tragically for Zara Aleena, of course, she was not so fortunate.’

He followed Ms Aleena down Cranbrook Road before grabbing her and dragging her into a driveway.

Mr Glasgow 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.

‘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.’

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Jordan McSweeney in the dock at the Old Bailey, where he pleaded guilty to the murder and sexual assault of Zara Aleena

The court was told McSweeney was a prolific offender and had been released from prison on licence on June 17 – just days before the murder.

He had been in prison for criminal damage, racially aggravated harassment and unauthorised possession of a knife in prison.

A spokesperson said: ‘The actions of officers following McSweeney’s recall to prison were reviewed by officers from the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards who found there was no indication of misconduct.’

Ms Aleena had begun working at the Royal Courts of Justice five weeks before her death and was ‘the happiest she had ever been’, her family said.

Jordan McSweeney’s ex-girlfriend Samantha Bryan (pictured together) told MailOnline she regrets not pressing assault charges against him who went on to kill aspiring lawyer Zara Aleena earlier this year

McSweeney beat Samantha for years, leaving her with injuries like this one when he booted her in the face

Ms Bryan, 30, says Jordan is a ‘wannabe gangster’ – who made his own posters on Facebook

The ex-girlfriend of the murderer revealed that she endured four years of violence and controlling behaviour at his hands before summoning up the courage to leave him for good.

But Samantha Bryan, 30, now regrets not pressing assault charges against the ‘wannabe gangster’ who went on to kill aspiring lawyer Zara Aleena earlier this year.

Ms Bryan told MailOnline that McSweeney once stamped on her so badly, it left an imprint of his trainer on her face – just as he did to Ms Aleena, who suffered fatal head injuries.

Describing going to the police she said: ‘I gave them a statement, telling them just what he’d done, but I dropped the charges. I just couldn’t go through with it. At the time, my thinking was that I’d at last got rid of him from my life after four horrible years and I was still scared he – or one of his acolytes – would seek some sort of vengeance.

‘Knowing what he did to the poor woman in Ilford, I wish I had gone ahead with it. Jordan is nothing more than a wannabe gangster with no respect whatsoever for women. I hope he’s locked up for the rest of his life – no woman is safe around him.’

McSweeney would also punch, kick and bite her and once threw her out into the street after snatching her phone, forcing her to borrow a mobile from a homeless man so she could call her mother to collect her.

And Ms Bryan, who became pregnant by McSweeney, also told how he would cynically cuddle up to her at night – only in order to hide her wounds from his aunt when the young couple stayed with her.

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