Zara Aleena: Family pay tribute after ‘shocking and unimaginable’ deathon June 29, 2022 at 6:47 am

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A man is due in court charged with the murder of Zara Aleena on Sunday.

Zara AleenaImage source, Met Police

The family of a woman killed while she walked home in east London have paid tribute to her, describing the last few days as “shocking and unimaginable”.

Zara Aleena died in hospital after she was assaulted as she walked along Cranbrook Road, towards Gants Hill station in Ilford, on Sunday.

In a statement her family said: “She walked. Zara believed that a woman should be able to walk home.

Jordan McSweeney, 29, has been charged with Ms Aleena’s murder.

He has also been charged with the attempted rape and robbery of the 35-year-old and is due to appear at Thames Magistrates’ Court later.

Paramedics were called to the scene of the assault at about 02:45 BST on Sunday after Ms Aleena, who lived locally, was found by members of the public.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had “multiple serious injuries”.

Tributes to Zara Aleena

Her friends have said she was “so soft and gentle, she never had a bad word to say about anyone”.

They said she graduated in October after extensive studying and had only been working at the Royal Courts of Justice for a few weeks.

After Mr McSweeney was charged Ms Aleena’s family paid tribute to her in a statement describing her as a “joy to all of us”.

They said: “She was always the bigger person in any situation. She was authentic and refused to try and impress anyone but she impressed us.

“She was the rock of our family. Zara was stoic and held it all together and never complained. She glued our community together.”

Map showing site of attack in Ilford

The family said: “We must prevent and stop violence against women and girls.”

They added: “Our loss is irreparable and the void feels insurmountable but the warmth and kindness that our community has shown is testament to the power of Zara’s spirit.

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