Man accused of murder, attempted rape and robbery of Zara Aleena in court

·1 min read
Jordan McSweeney appearing by video link from HMP Thameside during a hearing at the Old Bailey, London, where he is accused of murdering law graduate Zara Aleena (Elizabeth Cook/PA) (PA Wire)
Jordan McSweeney appearing by video link from HMP Thameside during a hearing at the Old Bailey, London, where he is accused of murdering law graduate Zara Aleena (Elizabeth Cook/PA) (PA Wire)

A man has been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged with murdering Zara Aleena.

Jordan McSweeney, of Dagenham, east London, allegedly kicked and stamped on the 35-year-old as she walked home from a night out in Ilford, east London, in the early hours of Sunday.

The 29-year-old defendant, who is also accused of robbing the law graduate of her mobile phone, keys and handbag, and attempted penetration without consent, appeared at the Old Bailey on Friday morning.

Zara Aleena died on Sunday (Family handout/PA) (PA Media)
Zara Aleena died on Sunday (Family handout/PA) (PA Media)

Ms Aleena was found bleeding and struggling to breathe with serious head injuries in a driveway in Cranbrook Road, Ilford, the court was told.

She was dragged on to the driveway before being kicked and stamped on, prosecutors allege.

A post-mortem examination found she had suffered multiple serious injuries.

McSweeney appeared via video link from HMP Thameside wearing a green jumper.

He was seen covering his face with his hands ahead of the hearing before sitting back in his chair.

He later pulled his jumper up over his face and fiddled with the microphone.

McSweeney spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

He will next appear at the Old Bailey on September 30 for a plea hearing.