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Jury to consider if police could have done more to stop Zara Aleena’s killer after the sexual predator was free to hunt and murder the law graduate as she walked home from a night out when he should have already been recalled to prison | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


  • Killer Jordan McSweeney should have been recalled to prison in June 2022



A jury inquest will consider if police officers could have done more to stop Zara Aleena’s killer before the sexual predator was free to hunt and murder the law graduate as she walked home from a night out, a coroner has directed.

Jordan McSweeney was jailed for life with a minimum term of 38 years at the Old Bailey in December 2022 after he brutally strangled and stamped the 35-year-old to death in a ‘merciless’ slaughter.

Prior to the savage killing, McSweeney should have been recalled to prison in June 2022, just six days before the attack and could have been back in his cell by the time of the murder. 

McSweeney had been released on licence, but police did not find him at the address he had given. 

Zara Aleena (above), 35, was walking home from a night out with friends when Jordan McSweeney leapt out of the darkness and murdered her in a frenzy of violence

Jurors will now consider whether officers did enough to find him and ‘whether adequate steps were taken to obtain information from Mr McSweeney’s mother’.

McSweeney had 28 previous convictions for 69 separate offences at the time of the murder including burglary, theft of a vehicle, criminal damage, assaulting police officers and assaulting members of the public while on bail.

The Metropolitan Police said the Probation Service had commenced recall proceedings on June 22, just days before the murder, after he missed two appointments.

Coroner Nadia Persaud said on Tuesday she will empanel a jury for the month-long inquest into Ms Aleena’s death. 

At a pre-inquest review hearing at East London Coroner’s Court in Walthamstow, Ms Persaud said: ‘I consider there is reason to suspect the MPS police officers could and should have done more to locate Mr McSweeney prior to his attack on Zara Aleena, and a jury should be empanelled to consider this question.

‘I therefore direct that this inquest must be held with a jury.

‘The inquest into the death of Zara Aleena will consider the actions of police officers and will also consider the actions of prison and probation staff.

‘These are all agents of the state who play a role in keeping the public safe.’

Jordan McSweeney was jailed for life with a minimum term of 38 years at the Old Bailey in December 2022 after he brutally strangled and stamped the 35-year-old to death in a ‘merciless’ slaughter

The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 says an inquest must be held with a jury if a senior coroner has reason to suspect the death resulted from an act or omission of a police officer in the execution of their duty.

Ms Persaud said: ‘Acts or omissions of police officers who were tasked with recalling Mr McSweeney falls within the scope of this inquest.’ 

McSweeney was released on licence from prison on June 17 2022 and, after missing successive appointments, the Probation Service recalled him to prison on June 24 2022 – but police did not find him at the address he had given.

Ms Persaud said jurors will need to consider whether officers did enough to find him and “whether adequate steps were taken to obtain information from Mr McSweeney’s mother”. 

Interested parties will include Ms Aleena’s family, the Probation Service, Metropolitan Police and Redbridge Council, Ms Persaud said.

McSweeney was caught on CCTV following Zara Aleena on the night of her death

In a report published in January, chief inspector of probation Justin Russell highlighted a catalogue of errors in the Probation Service’s handling of McSweeney which meant he was not treated as a high-risk offender when he should have been.

Article two inquests are enhanced hearings held in cases where the state or ‘its agents’ have ‘failed to protect the deceased against a human threat or other risk’, CPS guidance says.

Ms Persaud said: ‘Having considered the further disclosure received to date and having considered the legal submissions from the interested persons, I direct that article two is engaged in this case so as to trigger the enhanced procedural obligation.’

Another pre-inquest review hearing is due to take place on March 4 and the inquest is listed for June 3-28 at the same court.



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