Jodie Chesney

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Jodie Chesney was fatally attacked in a park near Romford, east London

A 17-year-old girl was killed in a “terrible and cowardly” stabbing during a drug turf war, a court has heard.

Jodie Chesney was playing music and smoking cannabis with friends in a park in Harold Hill, east London, when she was knifed in the back, on 1 March.

She was stabbed after two figures came out of the dark, noiselessly towards them, the Old Bailey heard.

Manuel Petrovic, 20, Svenson Ong-a-kwie, 19, and two youths, aged 16 and 17, all deny Jodie’s murder.

The jury was told the taller of two of the defendants who came towards them was spotted swinging his right arm at Jodie’s back.

Jodie, who suffered a deep wound to her back and was bleeding heavily, then screamed as seconds later the men disappeared back into the night, the court heard.

A local resident heard her screams and came to help as Jodie’s friends became “hysterical”, jurors heard.

By the time an ambulance arrived, Jodie showed no signs of life and was pronounced dead en-route to hospital, on the forecourt of a petrol station.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told jurors none of Jodie’s friends had any idea who was responsible for the “terrible and cowardly” attack.

Jurors were told the four defendants were “involved in the supply of drugs” and one or more of Jodie’s friends had bought cannabis from those accused in the past.

“There is, however, nothing to suggest that Jodie was involved in the supply of drugs or that she might have upset anyone”, Mr Aylett said.

“Indeed, the evidence of her character, accomplishments and popularity are entirely to the contrary.

“Jodie’s father Peter has described her as ‘a beautiful, well-liked, fun, young woman who judged no-one and loved everyone’.

“So, the prosecution suggest that Jodie is unlikely to have been the intended target; more likely is that the intended target was somebody else altogether.”

The trial continues.

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