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How Zara Aleena's killer trailed lone women before murder

Updated: Jan 29

Night Food Truck Fish and Chips

On the night of 26 June, just nine days after release from prison, Jordan McSweeney was prowling the streets of Ilford looking for a woman to attack.

CCTV shows he followed two women lone women for long periods of time that night after being thrown out of a bar in Ilford, where he was pestering women and he had groped a women, when on the streets one of the women he followed was for 21 minutes, she went into a shop and McSweeney waited outside for her, luckily she saw him and ran and safely entered a house to get away.

He then at noticed another lone woman and potential victim in a Chicken shop, he entered the shop, he intimidated her, staring at her , putting his hands in his pants and and moving his hands as if masturbating, he waited for her to leave, followed her, but luckily he noticed another woman who he put his arm around and then she walked away.

The next 50 minutes he wondered around, despite being minutes from where he lived, he saw another potential victim, a women walking alone and he tried to catch-up, he over took her and waited to grab her, but luckily the home she entered safely was on the opposite side of the street where he was waiting for her.

The last lone women he followed was Ms Zara Aleena, who had studied law and was about to be admitted into a solicitors role, she had been in a bar with a friend close to where she lived so decided to walk home the short distance alone, she called a friend to check up on her getting home safely, sexually attacked and murdered Zara.

Below is an extract from the sentencing remarks about the attack, its graphic and uncensored , only to show how evil he was :


" He followed her for some distance getting to within a few metres of her, until she reached number 268 Cranbrook Road, a residential property with a wide paved front garden or driveway. At that point there were no other people on the street.

The attack was captured on domestic security cameras. He grabbed her and pulled her backwards, one arm around her neck, the other over her mouth. She was dragged deeper into the darkness of the driveway and it is clear that she struggled and fought him. But he had the advantage of surprise and strength and he was successful in subduing her.

He then parted her legs while she was on the ground but still she fought and resisted

getting up again, again he attacked her and pulled her back onto the ground, she

must have been rendered unconscious because he then dragged her around without

independent movement from her, he removed some of her clothing and sexually

assaulted her.

He kicked and stamped on her, his movements indicating that these were repeated heavy assaults. He was not carried away, he had not been overtaken by a uncontrollable urge, it is clear that he was wholly aware of what he was doing. This is indisputably correct because when he realised someone was coming past the house, on the pavement he bent out of sight before resuming what he was doing.

After satisfying his lust he proceeded to destroy the woman he had just degraded.

With sickening deliberation he stamped on her.

Then he left the driveway but after walking a few metres he returned and repeatedly

stamped down on her body again, using a balustrade for balance.

He searched her body again and left for a second time carrying something of hers. Still not finished, having walked away, this time further, he again returned to Miss Aleena and bent down by her body before stamping on her again. This abduction, sexual assault, and murder lasted just 9 minutes. "


4 years for sexual assault and 38 years for murder.

Zara Aleena, a smart and successful 35 year old. A complete stranger to Jordan McSweeney.

Jordan McSweeney on the other hand was 29 years old and has 28 previous convictions for 69 crimes dating back to 2006. They range from racially motivated offences, driving offences, and assault on police to battery and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, he had no previous convictions for sexual offences.

Zara, did absolutely nothing wrong, she was an intelligent woman, who had been out with a friend of hers, she walked home after leaving a bar and did not have far to go, she was attacked on a residential road that was not in a area of high crime and the road had bus stops on it and can be a busy road at times.


After events like this , where women are attacked, prevention strategies or lessons usually focus on what the victim of the attack could have done differently, and instead we will examine a number of things that should have been done differently by others and not Zara.

Probation Service

17th June the he was released from custody for only serving part of a custodial sentence, A damning report by the UK's Chief Inspector of Probation has found there was a catalogue of errors in the Probation Service's handling of McSweeney's release, the probation staff where only allocated the case 9 days before his release and was not classified as " A high risk of serious harm offender".

21st June he went to live with a friend and part of his release licence required him to attend appointments with a probationary officer, but he failed to do that, breach of his condition would have lead to his arrest and return to detention.

24th June, his licence was revoked , within 3 days he was prowling the streets looking for a woman to attack.

Probation Service misclassified him as medium risk , and the probation office and local police should have arrested and detained him on 24th , 25th or 26th of June when his license was revoked.

Groping women to be taken more seriously

He was pestering women, he groped a woman in The Great Spoon of Ilford , this type of behaviour is prevalent and happens in bars and pubs across the country, it usually results in the person being asked to leave, however if groping women was treated as an assault, then perhaps the police could have been called and he may have been arrested.

If he or others who attempted to take/steal money from the till or another person, there would be a greater probability of someone being detained, the police being called and the perpetrator being arrested, however groping which is a sexual assault is not considered as serious as taking property.

With Members of Parliament accepting and defending behaviour like groping, then how can the police or society see it as serious as it really is.

Is it any wonder why the Bar did not detain him and call the police, groping needs to be taken more seriously by the police, the CPS and society.

Molesting staff to be taken more seriously

In the Great Spoon Bar that evening he tried to molest a female member of bar staff, protecting staff safety and well being is more than throwing out people who try and molest them, they followed their duty of care by protecting their employee, however they should have detained the person and called the police.

Licencing laws and rules

Entertainment and alcohol licences should also be based on staff and visitor of establishments having zero tolerance on molesting, groping of women including staff, with every licencing establishment having a mandatory requirement to have CCTV being installed with recordings kept for a minimum of 30 days, and independent inspections of CCTV footage regularly as part of the licencing requirement.

Should the culture and the way the establishment is being run not follow a zero tolerance, where complaints and incidents can be seen on CCTV, then establishments should be classified as special measure status for 30 days, they should pay for independent assessment and monitoring to ensure they comply and if they do not, licences should be revoked.

We have not covered things like rape alarms, alert systems, Apps or any behavioural changes that women have been advised to implement, there are a plethora of this type of advice online, as well as self defence tactics and training, instead we are focused on how others related to this case could have done things differently and therefore potentially avoiding this evil and horrible act of sexual violence which resulted in the brutal murder of a woman who happened to be the fourth targeted women by the attacker.

Alcohol and drugs

Research indicates that in 1 in 3 of incidents of domestic violence, the victim perceived the offender to be under the influence of alcohol.

The attacker had been drinking, whilst this may be a controversial suggestion, consideration should be given to banning anyone who is on probation to be allowed to have alcohol or drugs in their system, there are laws in place for testing and specific amount of alcohol a person is allowed in their system when it comes to driving a motor vehicle , we believe this should also be applied to people on probation.

How alcohol affects the brain

It represses an excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate, and increases an inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA. This means that one’s thoughts, movements, and speech are impaired. Alcohol’s repressive effect as a nervous system depressant, means that it slows down parts of the brain. Areas that it affects include those that control inhibition, thought and judgement.

It also increases the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is known for its role in the “reward system” of your brain. This causes your brain to think it is having a good time, and chase the release of dopamine.

Dopamine contributes to the desire for sexual activity i.e. the energetic aspects of appetitive sexual behavior in men.

We are not saying that Dopamine and Alcohol are an excuse or the cause of sexual or violent attacks, instead we are linking their use in certain people and in groups coupled with societal acceptance that some types of behaviour is tolerated which in no way should it be, we instead are saying that if there is a link, then anyone on probation should not be allowed to use alcohol excessively.

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