A MAN will face a murder trial after aspiring lawyer Zara Aleena was dragged down an alley and killed, a court has heard.
Jordan McSweeney, 29, will stand trial for murder, as well as attempted rape and robbery before the end of the year, a High Court judge has ruled.
Zara Aleena, 35, was just yards from her home in Ilford, east London, when she was beaten to death on her way home from a night out, a court heard.
The alleged murder happened around 2:45 a.m. on June 26.
McSweeney, of Church Elm Lane, Dagenham, east London, is accused of stealing her mobile phone, keys and purse and attempting to rape her.
The defendant did not attend the Old Bailey for his scheduled plea hearing today.
Madam Justice Cheema-Grubb has set a trial to begin at the Old Bailey on December 5.
The lead judge adjourned the plea hearing until Monday, October 24, with McSweeney remaining in police custody.
In July, the Old Bailey learned how Zara was discovered with serious head injuries and partially dressed after the horror attack.
The court was told emergency crews were rushed to Cranbrook Road after Zara’s body was found.
A post-mortem examination revealed that she had suffered multiple serious injuries.
His screams woke nearby residents, who called 999, it was said.
Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC added: “Police and paramedics attended the scene and attempted to provide life-saving first aid, but the injuries she had sustained…were so serious that nothing could be done to help her. save.”
During the attack, Ms Aleena was dragged into an alley in Cranbrook Road, where she was kicked and stomped on, prosecutors say.
Zara was an aspiring lawyer who had just started working at the Royal Courts of Justice.
His death sparked outrage following the murders by unknown persons of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard in London as they returned home.
Zara’s family paid tribute to her in a heartbreaking statement after her death.
Her family added: “Zara, 35, a beloved human, child, niece, cousin, granddaughter, friend to all, she was a joy to us all.
“She took care of her mother and her grandmother. Caring for others came so naturally to her.
“Zara was friendly, she was everyone’s friend. She was everyone’s daughter, everyone’s niece, everyone’s sister, everyone’s cousin. She had a pure heart.
“She was a joy to all of us, her sparkling eyes and jet black curly hair. His glorious laugh and his soft, smiling voice. Her petite figure embodied a passionate spirit and indomitable energy.”
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