Zara Aleena: Hundreds join vigil for Londoner killed on walk homeon July 2, 2022 at 1:57 pm

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The aspiring lawyer was killed in east London as she walked home from a night out on Sunday.

Family march at vigil

Hundreds of people have gathered for a vigil dedicated to Zara Aleena, who was killed as she walked home from a night out.

The 35-year-old law graduate was minutes from her front door when she was attacked on Cranbrook Road in Ilford, east London, on Sunday.

Ms Aleena’s family requested attendees wear white and remain silent as “we walk Zara home in our hearts”.

They led the crowd as it began tracing the route she would have taken.

Many of those taking part held flowers and pictures of Ms Aleena and wore T-shirts bearing her image.

Zara Aleena

Image source, Met Police

Her aunt Farah Naz described Ms Aleena as “giving, empathic and fearless”.

Speaking on Friday, she said her niece had been in an area she knew well and where she felt safe when she was attacked.

“That was what she valued more than anything, her independence. She was quite different to the rest of us because Zara didn’t have any fear,” Ms Naz added.

The silent walk will trace the route Ms Aleena had been taking but never completed “to bring her back where she belonged safely”.

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The walk began at 14:17 BST opposite Cranbrook Rise on Cranbrook Road in Ilford.

She had been returning home from a night out at 02:17 BST when she was dragged, kicked and stamped on, the Old Bailey heard on Friday.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “All women should be able to walk home safely.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Zara Aleena’s family and friends, who came together with others today to remember her life and complete her journey home.”

Tributes to Zara Aleena

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

Jordan McSweeney, 29, of Dagenham, has been charged with Ms Aleena’s murder, attempted penetration without consent and robbery.

He remains in custody.

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