Footage was captured of the chilling moment a man stalked the streets before beating a law grad to death.
Jordan McSweeney was released from prison just days before he lunged at 35-year-old Zara Aleen on his way home.
Footage shows the 29-year-old walking through Ilford, east London, in a waistcoat while searching for a victim. The sun reports.
He was seen following a number of potential victims who were “obviously interested in them and their movements”.
After targeting Ms Aleen, McSweeney was caught on video surveillance as he dragged her into a driveway, where he repeatedly kicked and stomped on her.
The predator pleaded guilty to murder and sexual assault today while Ms Aleen’s family looked on.
As it turned out, he was in prison at the time of the brutal killing on charges of vandalism, aggravated racial harassment and illegal possession of a knife.
He had been released from prison on robbery charges just nine days before the brutal attack.
McSweene had 28 prior convictions for 69 offenses – including burglary, theft of a motor vehicle, traffic offences, criminal property, assault on the police and assault on the public.
Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow KC said McSweeney launched an “assault on a lone woman who was going home, a woman who didn’t stand a chance” late that night.
The court previously heard Ms Aleen returning home from a night out on June 26 as the horror unfolded.
Her last movements showed that she was being followed by McSweeney as she walked down the residential street.
Ms Aleen was discovered partially clothed and struggling to breathe by horrified neighbors who heard her screams.
An autopsy determined her cause of death to be blunt force trauma and neck compression.
McSweeney has been identified as Ms Aleen’s killer after chilling footage showed him stalking her and then attacking her.
Cameras had followed him to the run-down trailer he was staying in while he worked at a nearby carnival.
Officers who searched the home found “blood-stained clothing and shoes.”
They also discovered fingerprints in bloodstains on a wall where Ms Aleen was attacked that matched McSweeney.
McSweeney questioned by the police
The killer was questioned by police but sat silently throughout all three interviews and would not even confirm his personal information.
Instead, he just threatened officers and told them he had ADHD and split personality disorder.
Ms Aleen was an aspiring barrister who had just started working at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Her death sparked outrage after the stranger murders of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard in London as they walked home.
Ms Aleen’s family paid tribute to her in a heartbreaking statement following her death.
They also revealed that she’s wanted to be a lawyer since she was five and that she “put her party shoes in her bag” and “went everywhere” because “she believed that a woman should be able to walk home.”
Her family added: “Zara, 35, a loved one, child, niece, cousin, granddaughter, friend to all, she was a joy to all of us.
“She was a caregiver to her mother and grandmother. Taking care of others came so naturally to her.
“Mrs. Aleen was kind, she was everyone’s friend. She was everybody’s daughter, everybody’s niece, everybody’s sister, everybody’s cousin. She was pure in heart.
“She was a delight to all of us, her sparkling eyes and curly jet black hair. Her lovely laugh and her sweet, smiling voice. Her diminutive form embodied a passionate spirit and indomitable energy.”
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams, who led the investigation, said: “This was a brutal attack on a lone woman walking home on a residential street.
“She had every right to be there, to feel safe and to come home unharmed, but instead she was the victim of shocking violence.
“My thoughts are with Ms. Aleen’s family and friends. I can’t imagine the pain they have endured over the past five months. It’s clear she was genuinely loved by those who knew her.”
McSweeney will be sentenced December 14.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission
Originally released as footage of Zara Aleen’s killer, Jordan McSweeney, before the murder was revealed