Jodie Chesney trial: Collier Row drug dealer and 17-year-old found guilty of killing Dagenham girl scout

Jodie Chesney at London Pride 2018. Picture: Chesney family

Jodie Chesney at London Pride 2018. Picture: Chesney family - Credit: Archant

It took a jury less than six hours to find a 19-year-old drug dealer from Collier Row and a 17-year-old guilty of murdering Dagenham Girl Scout Jodie Chesney.

Svenson Ong-a-Kwie and a 17-year-old boy have been found guilty at the Old Bailey of murdering Jodie Chesney.

Their co-defendants Manuel Petrovic, 20, and a 16-year-old boy were cleared of murder at the Old Bailey today (Thursday, November 7).

Members of Jodie's family, including father Peter and sister Lucy, erupted with cheers of "yes!" and clenched their fists as the guilty verdicts were delivered.

Earlier, there were tears from Jodie's sister as the not-guilty verdicts were delivered for murder charges against Manuel Petrovic and the 16-year-old boy.

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Speaking outside court Jodie's father Peter Chesney said: "The two people in the park I'm over the moon about.

"We got them."

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On Friday, 1 March, Jodie had finished at Havering College for the afternoon and had gone home to Dagenham to walk her dog.

She and her boyfriend then met up with four of their closest friends at Romford Station, before heading to Amy's Park in St Neot's Road.

As the group of friends sat on a bench table in the park, talking and listening to music, the court heard how two teenagers entered the park and one of them stabbed Jodie in the back.

The first call to the emergency services was made at 21.22pm and two police officers arrived at the scene at around 21.35pm.

One of the officers began chest compressions and around a minute or so after, medics from London Ambulance Service arrived.

In order to try and save Jodie's life, a team of London Air Ambulance medics in a car were deployed to meet the ambulance at an Esso Garage in Gants Hill, Redbridge.

It was there, on the forecourt of a petrol station, that doctors opened Jodie's chest in an attempt to get her heart beating again.

They were unable to save her, as the stab wound had caused her lung to collapse and bleed heavily.

Jodie was pronounced dead at 22.26pm.

At a post-mortem examination at East Ham Public Mortuary on Sunday, March 3, Home Office pathologist Dr Fegan-Earl attributed the cause of death to a combination of shock and haemorrhage.

On the day of Jodie's death, Mr Petrovic drove the defendants to Harold Hill for what he claimed in court was a drug deal.

Mr Petrovic said that he waited in the car while Ong-a-Kwie and the 17-year-old left the vehicle to carry out the drug deal.

After they returned to the car the 20-year-old said no one spoke of any violence and it wasn't until the next day that he discovered a murder had taken place.

The 20-year-old bought a fresh set of clothes to Ong-a-Kwie after he said some kind of "madness" had happened in the park.

Ong-a-Kwie admitted to leaving the car with the 17-year-old but claimed that it was the youth who stabbed Jodie and not himself.

He told the court that he was an amateur boxer and that he had been training the 17-year-old to take over his drug dealing business.

The youth also denied being the killer and claimed that it was Ong-a-Kwie who had carried out the stabbing.

The 16-year-old from east London did not give evidence during the trial.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett told jurors during the trial that Jodie was an "entirely blameless individual" who got caught up in a a quarrel between drug dealers.

Det Ch Insp Dave Whellams, who led the investigation into Jodie's murder, said: "Jodie was not in the wrong place at the wrong time, she was simply living her life as a teenager should - carefree and with her friends.

"It is Ong-a-Kwie and his 17-year-old co-defendant who made the decision to take that from her and have devastated the lives of so many people who loved her.

"I'd also like to pay tribute to my team of fantastic officers.

"They have worked tirelessly around the clock, piecing together vital evidence to get justice for Jodie and her family."

Jodie had been studying three A-levels at Havering Sixth Form College and was weeks away from completing her Duke of Edinburgh gold award.

Ong-a-Kwie and the 17-year-old will be sentenced on Monday, November 18.

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