Jodie Chesney: Dagenham school pays tribute to ‘a caring friend who was always smiling and laughing’

Jodie Chesney's former school has paid tribute to a 'caring, hardworking and popular' young woman. P

Jodie Chesney's former school has paid tribute to a 'caring, hardworking and popular' young woman. Picture: MPS - Credit: Archant

Jodie Chesney’s former school has paid tribute to “a caring friend” who was “always smiling and laughing”.

Jo Richardson Community School headteacher Ges Smith described 17-year-old Jodie – who died after being stabbed in the back in a Harold Hill park – as a popular young woman and determined student.

Mr Smith said: “Jodie was well liked by staff and students and built some strong friendships.

“She was a hardworking, determined student who demonstrated a positive outlook towards her studies and always wanted to make a good impression.

“She was a caring friend to others who would always be smiling and laughing.”

Jodie went to the school in Gale Street, Dagenham from 2012 to 2017 before starting at Havering Sixth Form College.

Mr Smith added that while at Jo Richardson, Jodie was an active member of the school’s Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) scheme achieving a silver award.

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“The staff who run the DofE remember her as a positive, well-motivated and very friendly young woman who was determined to get all she could out of the opportunities the DofE Award offered.

“Jodie will always remain a part of the JRCS community and our thoughts are with her family at this very difficult time,” he said.

Police urged witnesses or anyone with information to contact them after Jodie was stabbed in the park near St Neot’s Road on Friday night.

Jodie was with a group of teenagers when two males walked up to them before one stabbed her in the back.

The suspect is described as black and in his late teens.

Anyone with information should call 020 8345 3775 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Jodie’s death prompted calls for tougher action with 42 out of 44 police forces in England and Wales reporting a rise in knife crime since 2011.

Met deputy assistant commissioner, Graham McNulty, said on Monday: “Our thoughts are with the families, friends and communities affected by these tragic events.

“One incident, one injury, one death is too many.”

He added that tackling violent crime is a top priority and that 2,500 stop and searches were carried out in the last three days.

“I would appeal to the public to contact police if they are aware of anyone carrying a knife,” Dep Asst Comm McNulty said.