A man was arrested Wednesday after appearing in court in London on charges of murder and attempted rape of a woman who was walking home alone in the city’s east.

It is the latest in a series of similar incidents that have raised concerns about the safety of women and girls on the streets of the British capital. Jordan McSweeney, 29, is charged with the murder of Zara Aleena, 35, who was attacked in Ilford in the early hours of Sunday.

McSweeney, who is also charged with attempted rape and robbery, would only confirm his name and other personal details at a brief court hearing. In a statement, Aleena’s family mourned her death and called for an end to violence against women. He highlighted the murders of other women at the hands of strangers in London and other parts of the country.

The family expressed sympathy with the relatives of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa and other women killed in recent months and whose deaths sparked protests demanding greater protection of women’s rights. The family said Aleena, a law graduate who was training to become a lawyer, “walked everywhere” and “thought a woman should be able to walk home alone.”

“Sadly, Zara is not the only one who has lost her life at the hands of a stranger. We all know that women should be safe on our streets. She was in the heart of her community, 10 minutes from home,” the family statement said.

Police said Aleena suffered severe head injuries, confirmed by forensic examination. McSweeney was held without bail pending his appearance at London Central Criminal Court on July 27.

A tribute march to Aleena is planned for Saturday in Ilford.

Categorized in: