Serious probation failings left sex predator 'free' to kill law graduate

A sexual predator was left ‘free’ to kill a law graduate in a ‘senseless, merciless, brutal’ attack due to a string of failings by probation staff, a watchdog has

concluded. Zara Aleena, 35, was walking home from a night out in Ilford, east London, when Jordan McSweeney dragged her into a driveway and assaulted her ‘with a

savagery that is almost impossible to believe’. The 29-year-old, now serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 38 years, had a history of violence, having amassed

28 convictions for 69 offences dating back to when he was 12. He was freed from prison on licence just nine days before the murder, however it later emerged that was

revoked when he skipped meetings with his probation officers. McSweeney should have been back behind bars within days of his release but he was never recalled.

Instead, he was ‘prowling the streets’ looking for a victim to attack, with CCTV footage played at the Old Bailey showing him stalking four other women before targeting Ms

Aleena on June 26. In a damning report, chief inspector of probation Justin Russell highlighted a catalogue of errors in the Probation Service’s handling

of McSweeney which meant he was not treated as a high-risk offender when he should have been. The court heard McSweeney has convictions for assaulting previous partners

and making threats of serious violence towards female prison staff. His prison record includes more than 200 adjudications against him, with several for committing

‘assault’, and for ‘using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour’.