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Zara Aleena’s killer to challenge prison sentence

Zara Aleena was injured 46 times in the attack

A sexual predator who stalked and murdered Zara Aleena is set to challenge his sentence at the Court of Appeal.

Jordan McSweeney targeted at least five women before he attacked 35-year-old Ms Aleena as she walked home from a night out in east London on 26 June 2022.

McSweeney had been released from prison on licence nine days before the murder.

He was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 38 years after admitting murder and sexual assault.

The attack on Cranbrook Road in Ilford lasted nine minutes and resulted in 46 separate injuries to the law graduate.

McSweeney is set to challenge this sentence as “manifestly excessive” at the Court of Appeal on Friday morning.

Jordan McSweeney killed Ms Aleena nine days after being released from prison on licence

The Old Bailey heard that McSweeney failed to attend any meetings with probation workers after his release on 17 June last year, and his licence had been revoked.

Following Ms Aleena’s murder, chief inspector of probation Justin Russell highlighted errors in the Probation Service’s handling of McSweeney’s case, which meant he was not treated as a high-risk offender.

He described McSweeney as a “career criminal” who had been in and out of jail since the age of 16 and said that he “should have been considered a high-risk-of-serious-harm offender”.

“If he had, more urgent action would have been taken to recall him to prison after he missed his supervision appointments on release from custody,” Mr Russell said.

“The Probation Service failed to do so and he was free to commit this most heinous crime on an innocent young woman.”