Zara Aleena's coward killer Jordan McSweeney refuses to face court as he's sentenced for bludgeoning her to death | The Sun

ZARA Aleena's coward killer Jordan McSweeney is refusing to face the court where he's being sentenced for bludgeoning the aspiring lawyer to death.

The 35-year-old was just yards from her house in Ilford, East London, when she was murdered as she walked home from a night out.

And twisted McSweeney, 29, had stalked the streets for a victim before he pounced on Zara, and dragged her into a driveway where he repeatedly kicked and stamped on her.

The monster, who has been released from prison just days before the killing, pleaded guilty to murder and sexual assault last month.

He is today being sentenced by Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb at the Old Bailey.

However, McSweeney refused to come into court and stand at the dock to hear his fate.

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The killer claimed he "doesn't want to relive" the events at his sentencing when CCTV footage is played.

However, the senior judge was said to not be happy the cowardly call, and told McSweeney's defence lawyer to talk to him and get him to come back to court to acknowledge he is here.

She added: "It seems to me we should proceed. I do not want members of the family to wait any longer."

The court heard how Zara was returning home from a night out in the early hours of June 26 when the horror unfolded.

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CCTV captured her final movements – being followed by McSweeney as she walked on the residential road.

But prior to that the cameras snapped him as he "roamed the streets looking for a woman to attack and to sexually assault".

He had also been kicked out of a pub for making "persistent advances" to a female member of bar staff just hours beforehand.

Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow KC told the court today: "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."


Mr Glasgow added: "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."

McSweeney had been on licence at the time of the brutal killing for criminal damage, racially aggravated harassment and unauthorised possession of a knife in prison.

He had been released from prison for robbery just nine days before the savage attack.

The creep has 28 previous convictions for 69 offences – including burglary, theft of a motor vehicle, driving offences, criminal property, assaults on police and assaults on members of the public.

It was also revealed McSweeney boasted of having massive knives and posed in wanted posters before her murder.

He posted a number of pictures of himself on social media glorifying a life of crime.

On that horrific night, Zara was discovered partially clothed and struggling to breath by horrified neighbours who heard her screams.

The prosecutor said she had been attacked with "savagery that is almost impossible to believe".

A post-mortem gave her cause of death as blunt force trauma injury and neck compression.


McSweeney was identified as Zara's killer after chilling footage showed him stalking then attacking her.

Cameras had followed him to the grotty caravan where he was staying while working at a nearby funfair.

Officers searching the home found "blood stained clothing and shoes".

They also discovered fingerprints in blood stains on a wall where Zara was attacked that matched McSweeney.

The killer was quizzed by police but sat silently through all three interviews and would not even confirm his personal details.

He instead only threatened officers and told them he suffered from ADHD and split personality disorder.

Zara was an aspiring lawyer who had just started working at the Royal Courts of Justice.


Her family paid tribute to her in a heartbreaking statement following her death.

They also revealed she had wanted to be a lawyer from the age of five and that she "put her party shoes in her bag" and "walked everywhere" because "she believed that a woman should be able to walk home".

Her family added: "Zara, 35, a beloved human, child, niece, cousin, granddaughter, friend to all, she was a joy to all of us.

"She was a carer for her mother, and her grandmother. Caring for others came so naturally to her.

"Zara was friendly, she was everybody's friend. She was everybody's daughter, everybody's niece, everybody's sister, everybody's cousin. She was pure of heart.

"She was a joy to all of us, her sparkling eyes and the curly, jet-black hair. Her glorious laughter and her sweet, smiling voice. Her tiny frame embodied a passionate spirit and indomitable energy."

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams, who led the investigation, said: “This was a brutal attack on a lone woman walking home on a residential street.

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"She had every right to be there, to feel safe and to get home unharmed but instead she was the victim of shocking violence.

“My thoughts are with Zara’s family and friends. I cannot imagine the pain they have experienced over the past five months. It is clear she was truly loved by those who knew her.”

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