Law graduate’s aunt says probation officers have ‘blood on their hands’

Murder victim Zara Aleena’s aunt said the probation officers had “blood on their hands” after a devastating report revealed failures to track down her niece’s killer after she was released from prison just days before she died.

Farah Naz said the findings, made by a watchdog, revealed “a series of mistakes” in the probation service that led to the death of the law graduate.

Ms Naz called for “action and accountability”, stigmatizing the Probation Service as “inadequate” and “failures of those at the top”.

The report revealed that the probation officers’ failures were able to track and kill Ms. Aleena, a few days after sexual abuser Jordan McSweeney was released from prison.

29 year old sentenced to at least 38 years in prison for sexually assaulting and killing a 35-year-old boy in Ilford, east London, on 26 June last year.

Attorney General Dominic Raab has ordered a review of how probation personnel oversaw McSweeney’s release from prison on a license when it was revealed – where individuals are released from prison, but some of their sentences still serve in the community for service in the community – for murder nine days ago.

In the report, Chief Superintendent of Probation Justin Russell said: “Jordan McSweeney should have been considered a criminal with a high risk of serious harm. If he had, more urgent measures would have been taken to recall him to prison after he missed his probation appointments.” upon his release from custody.

“The Eviction Service failed to do that, and he was free to commit this most heinous crime against an innocent young woman.”

In the nine days before the murder, McSweeney’s license was revoked for not attending any meetings with probation officers, but he was not recalled to prison.

“Zara’s life was taken and she has blood on her probation hands,” Naz said, adding that she believed her niece would “absolutely” be alive if mistakes weren’t made.

She previously said she was here to “campaign” and “voice” on BBC Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour, her family and “anyone who wants to be better served”, adding: “I’m looking for change and accountability.”

Describing his nephew, he said, “This is a very difficult time for us. He was the complete antithesis of this man who was allowed to roam the streets freely.”

“He’s a good person… very active in the local community… he was funny, intelligent, beautiful and a real life lover who was dearly loved by all of us,” said Naz.

Naz said no one from the government had written to her to apologize, but she wanted to meet with Mr. Raab.

Mr Russell, one of the team that led the investigation, told the program that probation officers “must be reminded of the basics and retrained in how to distinguish between a medium and high risk case”.

When asked if the Probation Service is fit for purpose, he replied, “I think the method of assessing, managing and reviewing harm risk is not fit for purpose, and that is one of the key functions of the Probation Service priorities.”

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, said the probation failures were “a symptom of broader issues” that “must be addressed immediately”.

“My thoughts are with Zara’s family and loved ones in this extremely difficult day,” Khan said. said.

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