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Man confesses to murdering woman as she walked home to London


LONDON — A sexual predator with a string of convictions pleaded guilty on Friday to killing a woman as she walked home in London — one in a series of attacks that heightened fears for the safety of women on the city’s streets.

Jordan McSweeney, 29, admitted to sexually assaulting and murdering 35-year-old Zara Aleena. She was attacked after a night out in June and left for dead in a driveway.

Prosecutors said McSweeney has a long criminal record, with 28 convictions for 69 felonies, including criminal damage, burglary and assault. He was released from prison just days before he attacked Aleena, a law graduate who was training to become a lawyer.

A judge at London’s Central Criminal Court has set a sentencing date for December 14.

The murder followed several other cases of women being killed by strangers, including Sarah Everard – killed by a serving police officer in 2020 – and Sabina Nessa, who was attacked while walking in a park the following year. The deaths sparked protests calling for more protection for women and girls.

Senior Prosecutor Olcay Sapanoglu welcomed the guilty plea for the “horrific attack on a woman walking home from a night out with a friend.”

“Zara’s family will never recover from the senseless loss of their daughter, but I hope these confessions of guilt can bring them some comfort,” Sapanoglu said.

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