Zara Aleena: Hundreds take part in march for woman killed after night out in east London

·2 min read

Hundreds of people are tracing the steps Zara Aleena took the night she was killed while returning home from a night out.

Ms Aleena, 35, was attacked in Ilford, east London, at 2.17am last Sunday.

A vigil in her memory began this afternoon at 2.17pm, with roads being closed to allow those taking part to walk the 10-minute journey from the scene of the attack to her house.

Family members organised the vigil to "walk her home".

Most of those attending are wearing white clothing, with mourners leaving flowers and cards in tribute to Ms Aleena.

Farah Naz, Ms Aleena's aunt, stopped yards from the family's home and told the crowd: "She was on the home stretch, thank you so much for doing the walk and holding her in your hearts, praying for her, keeping her safe on this journey.

"At this point now we ask you to go home and thank you so much for being here today because this is our Zara, this is our issue, this something that we must all change, it must never happen again. Thank you for being here."

One of those taking part said she is "tired of crying" over the deaths of women.

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."

Jordan McSweeney, 29, has been charged with Ms Aleena's murder, as well as attempted rape and robbery.

He appeared at the Old Bailey on Friday, where he was remanded in custody after not entering a plea.

Ms Aleena's aunt, Farah Naz, said her "independent" and "big-hearted" niece "was the joy, the light of our home".

She spoke of the family's determination to "change something" in honour of the "extrovert".

Ms Naz told reporters: "I don't think there is going to be closure, this is just the beginning of the conversation we need to have.

"I want to reach out and do something important and act, because that's what Zara was about - we have got to change something.

"I want to speak to the leaders of this country, I want to talk about the setting up of projects right now to prevent violence."

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