Evil killer who battered Zara Aleena to death WINS bid to slash jail sentence as family slam 'repugnant man' | The Sun

A DEPRAVED killer who battered a law graduate to death after stalking the streets for a victim has won a bid to slash his sentence.

Jordan McSweeney had been released from a prison sentence just days before he pounced on Zara Aleena, 35, as she walked home.

The 29-year-old was jailed for life with a minimum of 38 years for the brutal murder in June 2022.

He launched a bid to reduce the terms of his minimum sentence, which was today granted at the Court of Appeal.

Top judges found the original term was too high an "uplift" and today replaced it with a minimum of 33 years.

Zara's devastated family branded the killer a "repugnant man" as they slammed the decision.

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They added: "Today's decision, a decision to reduce the minimum sentence for that repugnant man, aligns with an established legal sentencing framework, a framework we comprehend.

"Yet, the message it conveys to women is disheartening, suggesting that a 'life sentence' may not truly mean a lifetime behind bars. It is, in all honesty, a shallow triumph for him.

"Despite his sentencing to a minimum of 33 years, his time in incarceration has been marred by abhorrent conduct, marked by a lack of remorse and a callous attitude toward others.

"The prospect of his release after 33 years remains slim, but, naturally, we hope he remains imprisoned for life."

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Lady Chief Justice Lady Carr, sitting with Mrs Justice McGowan and Mrs Justice Ellenbogen, said there was "ample evidence" to show McSweeney was a "pugnacious and violent man".

She also told how the original sentencing judge was right to come to the starting point of 30 years for the "sexual" murder.

But the judge said there was a lack of "sufficient evidential basis" to find Zara suffered "additional mental or physical suffering" that pushed it up to 38 years.

Lady Chief Justice Lady Carr said this is because she would have been knocked unconscious early into the attack.

Zara's aunt Farah Naz previously told the court how McSweeney's application had caused “profound distress” to her family.

She said: “It is beyond belief that this individual, who was too spineless to attend his own sentencing, has the audacity to appeal the very sentence he couldn’t be bothered to witness.”

McSweeney had appeared via videlink for the start of proceedings but left before the hearing finished.

The aunt said this behaviour underscored the killer's "enduring disregard for all".

McSweeney was on licence at the time of Zara's murder for criminal damage, racially aggravated harassment and unauthorised possession of a knife in prison.

The predator had 28 previous convictions for 69 offences – including burglary, theft of a motor vehicle, driving offences, criminal property, assaults on police and assaults on members of the public.

He had been released from prison for robbery just nine days before the savage attack.

His licence had been revoked after failing to meet probation officers but he was not recalled to prison.

This meant the predator was free to roam the streets hunting for a victim.

On the night of Zara's murder, McSweeney was captured on CCTV stalking the streets of East London.

At least four other women managed to escape the killer's clutches as he followed them in the darkness.

One even ran for safety into a home on the same street were Zara was brutally murdered.

After setting his sights on the law graduate, McSweeney dragged her into a driveway where he repeatedly kicked and stamped on her.

Zara was discovered partially clothed and struggling to breath by horrified neighbours who heard her screams.

The prosecutor said she had been attacked with "savagery that is almost impossible to believe".

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

Zara was an aspiring lawyer who had just started working at the Royal Courts of Justice.

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Her death sparked outrage following the stranger murders of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard in London as they walked home.

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