‘Spineless’ killer Jordan McSweeney ‘yawned loudly’ when arrested for Zara Aleena’s murder

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Jordan McSweeney, 29 of Dagenham, Essex was convicted of the murder and sexual assault of Zara Aleena. McSweeney was handed life in prison with a minimum term of 38 years with a 4-year concurrent sentence for sexual assault. Ms Aleena was found partially clothed and struggling to breathe by horrified neighbours on June 26 in Ilford. McSweeney is said to have “yawned loudly”, telling police they were boring him after he was arrested the following day.

During police interviews he remained silent and only made “short, short, grumbled, and unintelligible comments” under caution, Oliver Glasgow KC, prosecuting told the court.

Mr Glasgow continued telling the court that McSweeney became “very aggressive” and threatened police saying: “We’re going to get fighting then” and “just because I’m in cuffs, don’t think, I’ll bite your face off cuz… it’s not a joke.”

He told the court: “He ignored what was said and what was asked, he closed his eyes as if trying to fall asleep, and he sat with his head on his folded arms on top of the table. He refused even to acknowledge that he was being spoken to and when the police began to ask him about the murder of Zara Aleena he yawned loudly and told the police that they were boring him.”

It was previously revealed that McSweeney was out on license at the time of Ms Aleena’s murder, being released from prison just nine days prior.

He was captured on CCTV footage following Ms Aleena before dragging her into a driveway and attacking her and stealing her phone, keys, and handbag.

In all, McSweeney has 28 previous convictions for 69 separate offenses including burglary, theft of a vehicle, criminal damage, assaulting police officers, and assaulting members of the public while on bail.

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On Wednesday, McSweeney refused to turn up to court for sentencing because he “did not want to relive” what happened, his defence barrister George Carter-Stephenson KC told the court.

In a televised sentencing, Judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said the killer was “wholly aware” of what he was doing when he attacked Aleena, and said he had “no spine whatsoever” for failing to appear in court.

She said McSweeney was “prowling the streets” looking for a victim saying he has shown “no remorse” for his actions.

Speaking in court Ms Aleena’s grandmother said she hoped the killer “would never find peace” adding that she felt “completely broken” by the death of her first grandchild.

Following the hearing Ms Aleena’s aunt Farah Naz said the family “don’t want her last hours, her end, to define her”.

She said: “Zara means literally radiance and she was the heart of us. The heart of our family and the heart of her community, the heart of her friends, and that’s how we remember her. That’s what’s been taken, the heart of us.”