Friends and family of 35-year-old Zara Alina, who was brutally murdered 10 minutes from home in the Ilford area of East London on Sunday, said that the aspiring lawyer believed that every girl should be able to walk home.
Zara, whose family hails from Pakistan, had opted to walk home instead of talking a cab after a night out, according to her friends, when the incident occured. Police in London say it was an “opportunistic crime”.
In a statement her family said their loss was “irreparable”, adding: “She walked. Zara believed that a woman should be able to walk home.”
Earlier this week, a 29-year-old man was presented in court in connection with the murder. Jordan McSweeney, the suspect, has been charged with murder, attempted rape and robbery.
Reports said that she was kicked and dragged on a driveway and died on the spot due to a serious head injury.
Her aunt Farah Naz told the BBC that Zara was incredibly “giving, supportive, insightful… empathic and fearless.”
Her aunt has also organised a vigil in memory of the young woman.
“The one word that would describe Zara would be independent,” said Naz in a conversation with the British broadcaster.
Her friends told the BBC that she was “so soft and gentle, she never had a bad word to say about anyone”. They said she graduated in October after extensive studying and had only been working at the Royal Courts of Justice for a few weeks.
The incident has spread a wave of sadness in the South Asian diaspora in the Ilford area.