Zara, who had recently started work at the Royal Courts of Justice, died from blunt force trauma injury and neck compression
The vicious predator who murdered aspiring lawyer Zara Aleena was a troublemaker in prison who started a fire and took part in a riot that left one guard with stab wounds to the head, according to a new report.
Jordan McSweeney yesterday pleaded guilty to murdering the defenceless 5ft 1in 35-year-old as she made her way home from a night out in June this year.
The brute punched her in the back of the head, stomped on her and sexually assaulted her, before snatching her handbag, mobile phone and keys. He walked away but returned moments later to deliver the fatal final blows.
Years earlier McSweeney, 29, was charged for his role in an out-of-control riot at Swaleside Prison on the Isle of Sheppey, in Kent, in which an officer needed hospital treatment for a stab wound to the scalp, according to court documents seen by MyLondon.
During the October 2014 melee, McSweeney started a fire in his cells and allegedly caused damage worth between £5,000 and £15,000, but his explicit involvement in the incidents was not detailed.
Two years later, the same prison sparked public outrage when rioting prisoners took over an entire wing. Specialist SAS soldiers and the riot squad eventually reclaimed control.
McSweeney was a prolific criminal with a string of 28 convictions for 69 crimes including burglary, racially aggravated harassment, unauthorised possession of a knife in prison and assault prior to his release on licence from prison on June 17th.
Within just nine days, he went on to murder Ms Aleena in cold blood.
Jordan McSweeney ambushed Zara Aleena and punched her in the back of the head before dragging the 35-year-old into a driveway and kicking her as she lay on the ground
Two years later, the same prison sparked public outrage when rioting prisoners took over an entire wing. Specialist SAS soldiers and the riot squad eventually reclaimed control. Pictured: Inside Swaleside during the riot
He was caught on CCTV following other women through the streets before he became ‘fixated’ on Zara – a popular student who was a carer for her mother and grandmother.
He was seen ‘kicking and stamping repeatedly on her body’ after snatching her off the street, and her screams woke up nearby residents who frantically dialled 999.
‘When she was discovered, she was already fatally wounded from the ”onslaught”,’ Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow told the Old Bailey.
‘She was bleeding, struggling to breathe, had clearly sustained serious head injuries and was also partially naked.’
After pleading guilty to the savage attack, MailOnline was able to reveal Ms Aleena’s murder was the culmination of a string of similar attacks on women.
After his arrest, McSweeney refused to answer questions but told officers he had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Undated CCTV image issued by the Metropolitan Police of sexual predator Jordan McSweeney just before he attacked Zara Aleena
Zara had begun working at the Royal Courts of Justice five weeks before her death and was ‘the happiest she had ever been’, her family said
Two of the 29-year-old’s former girlfriends revealed how they were manipulated, abused and regularly beaten up by McSweeney during their relationships with him.
Samantha Bryan dated McSweeney for four years as a teenager, being subjected to outbursts of violence throughout. Their relationship ended when he stamped on her head in a rage, splitting her eyeball.
Although she complained to police, no charges were brought after she decided not to pursue the matter, terrified of her attacker’s reaction.
Stella Lowe, another of his former partners, also claims to have suffered horrific abuse. She refused to meet him little more than 24 hours before he savagely beat his victim to death.
On June 24th, he called Ms Lowe from the pub to say that he was out – and suggested she come and join him.
A court sketch showing McSweeney in court yesterday, where he pleaded guilty to the murder and sexual assault of law graduate Zara Aleena
McSweeney shared photos on his Facebook depicting himself as a gangster
Ms Lowe refused, hung up the phone and pushed McSweeney from her mind, only to see him named on television as the man charged with murdering Miss Aleena on June 26.
Raised in Rochester, Kent, he was the product of a broken family, a ‘mummy’s boy’ who by his early teens was already in trouble with the police.
‘Burgling people, robbing people in the street, stealing cars, that was all he did,’ a family friend said.
‘He was an absolute toe-rag. His mother had no control over him. He even trashed his own home – there were holes in all the walls, all the bedrooms were graffitied. He had no respect for anything.’
Neighbours recall police were repeatedly called to his house as he burgled homes on his own street.
On the night he murdered Ms Aleena, CCTV tracked McSweeney to the caravan he lived in and police found him there. During a search, officers found ‘blood-stained clothing and shoes’ which match those seen on the attacker on CCTV.
Jordan McSweeney’s ex-girlfriend Samantha Bryan (pictured together) told MailOnline she regrets not pressing assault charges against the ‘wannabe gangster’ who went on to kill aspiring lawyer Zara Aleena earlier this year
McSweeney beat Ms Bryan for years, leaving her with injuries like this one when he booted her in the face
Ms Aleena’s family described her as independent, big-hearted and a joy. Her aunt Farah Naz said her niece was conscious of the dangers for women after the murders of Bibaa Henry, Nicole Smallman, Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa.
But she had felt ‘safe’ walking in the community where she was well known.
Ms Naz said: ‘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.
‘She didn’t know she was going to be on this list because in her mind she took those precautions.’
McSweeney’s plea hearing had been delayed after the defendant caught Covid in custody.
His barrister George Carter-Stephenson KC said: ‘He is still feeling unwell from Covid but realises the importance of being here today.’
Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb adjourned sentencing until December 14.