Zara Aleena’s family to hold Ilford vigil to ‘walk her home’

·2-min read
Zara Aleena  ( police handout)
Zara Aleena ( police handout)

The family of Zara Aleena are asking people to join them in a vigil to “walk her home”.

The 35-year-old was killed as she returned from a night-out along Cranbrook Road in Ilford, east London, in the early hours of Sunday.

Jamie Klinger, the co-founder of campaign group Reclaim the Streets, shared the message from her family online.

They said she was “ten minutes away from home” when she was attacked at 2.17am and Saturday’s vigil will meet at 1.30pm at Cranbrook Road before the walk starts at 2.17pm.

The statement said the journey will be “surrounded by people who knew, loved, cherished and supported her” and asked well-wishers to “help us to walk her home”.

It went on to say people attending the vigil should “wear white”.

They said: “The family have requested that as we walk Zara home in our hearts the mood remains silent and sombre.”

A 29-year-old man has appeared in court accused of the murder, attempted rape and robbery of Zara.

Jordan McSweeney, of Church Elm Lane, Dagenham, east London, is accused of killing the 35-year-old.

He appeared briefly at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, wearing a grey tracksuit and speaking only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

No plea was indicated.

Earlier, Ms Aleena’s family released a powerful tribute in which they said she was a keen walker and believed women should be safe on the streets.

In a statement issued through police, they said: “She walked everywhere. She put her party shoes in a bag and donned her trainers. She walked.

“Zara believed that a woman should be able to walk home. Now, her dreams of a family are shattered, her future brutally taken.”

McSweeney is accused of murder as well as robbing Ms Aleena of her mobile phone, keys and handbag as well as attempting to rape her.

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