Hundreds gather at emotional vigil for law graduate Zara Aleena, 35, who was 'murdered' walking home after night out | The Sun
HUNDREDS of mourners gathered at a silent vigil for Zara Aleena today after she was killed while walking home from a night out.
The law graduate, 35, was just minutes from her house in Ilford, East London, when she was allegedly dragged into a driveway and beaten to death.
A vigil organised by Zara's heartbroken family was held this afternoon to highlight the ongoing plague of male violence against women.
Supporters walked the ten minute route from where she was attacked to her home "to bring her back where she belonged safely".
Loved ones led the crowd, who held flowers and wore t-shirts in memory of Zara.
The aspiring lawyer's family had asked mourners to wear white and remain "silent and sombre" on the poignant journey.
Marai Larasi, a member of campaign group Million Women Rise, said: "We're here to support the family, we're here to bring her home in spirit, we're here to honour her life, and we're here with absolute exhaustion because we're tired of vigils, we're tired of crying and we're tired of having to bury women of all ages and stages in life."
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It comes after her aunt Farah Naz revealed the family were determined to try to "change something" and convince the political leaders of Britain to act "right now to prevent violence".
She added: "[My niece] was not ignorant to the fact that women get hurt.
"This isn't about making the streets safe, it's about changing the mindset."
Zara was an aspiring lawyer who had just started working at the Royal Courts of Justice.
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Her death has sparked outrage following the stranger murders of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard in London as they walked home.
She is the 16th woman in London and the 52nd woman in the UK to be allegedly killed by a man in 2022.
Zara was discovered with serious head injuries and partially clothed after the horror on Sunday.
Jordan McSweeney, 29, appeared at the Old Bailey yesterday charged with murder, attempted rape and robbery.
The court was told emergency crews were scrambled to Cranbrook Road after Zara's body was discovered.
Her screams woke up nearby residents, who called 999, it was said.
Zara was allegedly "dragged" into the driveway and "kicked and stamped on" repeatedly, it is said.
McSweeney was remanded in custody to next appear at the Old Bailey on September 30 for a plea hearing.
Zara's family paid tribute to her in a heartbreaking statement following her death.
They also revealed she had wanted to be a lawyer from the age of five and that she "put her party shoes in her bag" and "walked everywhere" because "she believed that a woman should be able to walk home".
Her family added: "Zara, 35, a beloved human, child, niece, cousin, granddaughter, friend to all, she was a joy to all of us.
"She was a carer for her mother, and her grandmother. Caring for others came so naturally to her.
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"Zara was friendly, she was everybody's friend. She was everybody's daughter, everybody's niece, everybody's sister, everybody's cousin. She was pure of heart.
"She was a joy to all of us, her sparkling eyes and the curly, jet-black hair. Her glorious laughter and her sweet, smiling voice. Her tiny frame embodied a passionate spirit and indomitable energy.'"
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