A man of no fixed abode has been charged with the murder of Zara Aleena, who died after being attacked at Cranbrook Road, in Ilford, the Metropolitan Police said.
Aleena, 35, was found with extensive head injuries on Sunday (26) morning and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
Jordan McSweeney, 29, has been charged with the murder attempted rape and robbery. He will appear in custody at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (29), the Met police said.
According to a report in the Guardian, Aleena had a law degree from the University of Westminster and wanted to be a solicitor.
The Met Police launched a murder investigation and announced they arrested a man on Monday (27) on suspicion of murder.
The police said that Aleena died after a “horrific assault” close to her home. She was found with extensive head injuries on Sunday by passersby in Cranbrook Road.
Later, a postmortem revealed no evidence of the use of a weapon to inflict the injuries.
According to the Guardian report, Aleena was walking along Cranbrook Road towards Gants Hill station when she was assaulted.
The report added that she had worked as an administrative officer at the Royal Courts of Justice, and previously worked to resettle refugees.
Her family, in a statement, said that her loss was ‘irreparable and the void feels insurmountable.’
“Zara was happy and at a point in her life when her joy was radiating and blossoming. She was ready to make a family of her own. Her sense of justice and fairness led her to a life of giving and caring for others – supporting refugees fleeing violence, giving voice to those who had less power,” the family was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
“She had that special habit of noticing others in need and always put their needs on her agenda. A carefree spirit, with the most caring heart.”