Inquest told Zara Aleena died from head and neck injuries

A man has appeared in court charged with her murder.

Ryan Hooper
Wednesday 06 July 2022 10:25 BST
Zara Aleena (Met Police/PA)
Zara Aleena (Met Police/PA) (PA Media)

Law graduate Zara Aleena died from head and neck injuries, a coroner’s court heard.

The 35-year-old was killed when she was attacked in the early hours of Sunday June 26 as she walked home from a night out along Cranbrook Road in Ilford, east London, an area she knew well and where family said she felt “safe”.

A man has been charged with her murder.

East London Coroner Nadia Persaud was told by coroner’s officer Jean Smyth on Wednesday that Ms Aleena was admitted to the Royal London Hospital shortly before 4.45am on Sunday with multiple injuries.

Family and friends with members of the public attend a vigil in Ilford, east London, for Zara Aleena (Beresford Hodge/PA)
Family and friends with members of the public attend a vigil in Ilford, east London, for Zara Aleena (Beresford Hodge/PA) (PA Wire)

But her condition worsened and she was pronounced dead a short time later. Her body was identified by her maternal aunt, Farah Naz.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as blunt force trauma injury and neck compression.

No members of Ms Aleena’s family or friends were present for the three-minute hearing.

Ms Persaud adjourned the inquest until the conclusion of any criminal proceedings.

Ms Aleena’s death prompted renewed calls for action to tackle violence against women and girls, and saw hundreds of people join a silent march in her name at the weekend.

Suspect Jordan McSweeney, 29, of Church Elm Lane, Dagenham, east London, appeared at the Old Bailey last week accused of murder, attempted rape and robbery.

He entered no pleas and was remanded in custody until September 30.

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