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Thousands expected to attend vigil in memory of Jodie Chesney tonight

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:11 15 March 2019

Students and staff at Havering Sixth Form College wearing purple and remembering murder victim Jodie Chesney.

Students and staff at Havering Sixth Form College wearing purple and remembering murder victim Jodie Chesney.

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Family, friends and members of the public are to light candles, set off balloons and pay their respects to Jodie Chesney at a vigil held in her memory tonight

Tributes have been paid to 17-year-old Jodie Chesney who was killed in Harold Hill earlier this month.Tributes have been paid to 17-year-old Jodie Chesney who was killed in Harold Hill earlier this month.

Family, friends and members of the public are to light candles, set off balloons and pay their respects to Jodie Chesney at a vigil held in her memory tonight (Friday, March 15).

In the last two weeks the community has turned Harold Hill and the surrounding borough purple in memory of Jodie and tributes have flooded in from across the world.

Purple ribbons and bows are lining the high streets in Havering as well as on people’s front doors, outside businesses and in schools, in memory of Jodie from Dagenham who was killed on Friday, March 1, in Amy’s Park, St Neot’s Road, Harold Hill.

Tonight at around 7pm, people will gather at Amy’s Park, and there will be a number of performances, and both a minute’s silence and a minute’s applause.

Students and staff at Havering Sixth Form College wearing purple and remembering murder victim Jodie Chesney.Students and staff at Havering Sixth Form College wearing purple and remembering murder victim Jodie Chesney.

Speaking previously about his daughter, Peter Chesney described Jodie as “the nicest person any of us know” and said “she wouldn’t have done anything to deserve this - no way”.

He said: “She was the nicest person any of us know. Everything about her was about being kind and good and thoughtful.”

Mr Chesney said Jodie’s death has torn the family apart and that they are “a mess”, adding: “We don’t know how to deal with it.

“Everyone is suffering because she was so good... everyone just can’t believe - why her? It is not one life deserves to be killed over another, but specifically her, she was so kind.”

Tributes for murder victim Jodie Chesney in Harold Hill.Tributes for murder victim Jodie Chesney in Harold Hill.

Asked what Jodie was like, he said she was a “proud geek”, who was a “great girl”, and added: “The fibre of her being was just about being good, kind... there was nothing bad in her body.”

Her stepmother Joanne said Jodie, who did not realise how popular she was, was “very dry” and “did not have a filter”, who said exactly what she thought whether someone wanted to hear it or not.

“Infectious personality, easy to get along with, no pretension at all. She wouldn’t have hurt anybody,” Mr Chesney added.

Her family said she loved animals - particularly dogs - and had once wanted to be a vet.

Tributes for murder victim Jodie Chesney in Harold Hill.Tributes for murder victim Jodie Chesney in Harold Hill.

Two men and a 16-year-old boy have so far been charged with the murder of Jodie.

Svenson Ong-a-Kwie appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ yesterday (Thursday, March 14) charged with one count of murder.

The 18-year-old, of Hillfoot Road in Collier Row, is the third person to be charged with the murder of Jodie.

He was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on Monday (March 18) the court heard.

Tributes for murder victim Jodie Chesney in Harold Hill.Tributes for murder victim Jodie Chesney in Harold Hill.

Manuel Petrovic, 20, of Highfield Road, Romford, and a 16-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, are both due to face trial at the Old Bailey in September.

Another three people, a 50-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman, both from Dagenham, and a 17-year-old boy who were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender have all been released under investigation.

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