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Kent man accused of murdering trainee Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Zara Aleena

by Danny Halpin

A Kent 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, east London, as she walked home at the weekend. She suffered serious head injuries and later died in hospital.

Zara Aleena was attacked on her way home from a night out
Zara Aleena was attacked on her way home from a night out

Jordan McSweeney, 29, formerly of Rochester, appeared in custody at Thames Magistrates' Court charged with her murder.

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

Earlier today, Ms Aleena's family paid tribute to her saying she was "radiating and blossoming" and "ready to make a family of her own".

They added: "These last few days have been shocking and unimaginable.

"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."

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.

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.

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