Zara Aleena death: Jordan McSweeney admits killing woman as she walked home in London

A sexual predator with a string of convictions pleaded guilty on Friday to killing a woman as she walked home in London — one in a string of attacks that heightened fears about women’s safety on the city’s streets.

Jordan McSweeney, 29, admitted sexually assaulting and murdering 35-year-old Zara Aleena, who was attacked after a night out in June and left for dead in a driveway. Aleena died from multiple injuries after she was kicked and stamped on by McSweeney, the BBC reported.

Zara Aleena death
A placard is seen on July 2, 2022, during a vigil in Ilford, east London, for murdered law graduate Zara Aleena, 35, who died after being attacked as she walked home from a night out along Cranbrook Road in Ilford.

Beresford Hodge/PA Images via Getty Images

Prosecutors said McSweeney has a long criminal record, with 28 convictions for 69 offenses including criminal damage, burglary and assault. He was released from prison just days before he attacked Aleena, a law school graduate who was training to become a lawyer.

A judge at London’s Central Criminal Court set a Dec. 14 sentencing date.

The killing followed several other cases in which women were killed by strangers, including Sarah Everard — murdered by a serving police officer in 2020 — and Sabina Nessa, attacked as she walked in a park the following year. The deaths prompted protests calling for more protection for women and girls.

“Zara was not a woman who was unaware that there were dangers in the world. She did not imagine what happened to those women would happen to her,” Aleena’s aunt said, per the BBC. “She didn’t know she was going to be on this list because in her mind she took those precautions.”

Senior Crown Prosecutor Olcay Sapanoglu welcomed the guilty pleas for the “horrific attack on a woman walking home after a night out with a friend.”

“Zara’s family will never recover from the senseless loss of their daughter, but I hope that these guilty pleas bring them some comfort,” Sapanoglu said.

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