'You have ripped away a bright future': Jodie Chesney's family pay tribute to Dagenham scout killed in unprovoked Harold Hill attack
PUBLISHED: 17:49 07 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:17 08 November 2019
The family of a Dagenham scout who was brutally murdered in an unprovoked attack have said they will never be able to come to terms with her death.
Jodie Chesney, 17, was fatally stabbed in the back when she was with a group of friends in Amy's Park, St Neot's Road, Harold Hill.
Today, (Thursday, 7 November) Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19, of Hillfoot Road, Collier Row, and a 17-year-old from Barking, were found guilty of her murder.
They will be sentenced at The Old Bailey on Monday, November 18.
Jodie's father Peter Chesney said in an impact statement: "The murder of my beloved daughter has destroyed my life and the full extent as to how this has affected my family and me cannot possibly be explained simply in words.
"I have no idea how I am going to continue with my life or even come to terms with the loss."
Peter set up a charity, the Jodie Chesney Foundation, aimed at taking action to steer young people away from knife crime.
Jodie's sister Lucy, added: "I am only 20 years old and already I am dreading my life rather than looking forward to it.
"Jodie was not only my sister, she was my best friend.
"Losing her is like losing half of myself.
"We went through everything together and she was always there for me and always putting everyone before herself. She gave me a type of love I will never feel again.
"I am anxious about everything: leaving the house, staying in the house, meeting people.
"If someone as good and pure as Jodie could be murdered, it could happen to anyone and I spend everywhere I go looking over my shoulder because of it.
"Jodie will be greatly missed and the people who caused such tragedy to a whole family should hang their head in shame.
"You have ripped away a bright future that was destined to make a change to many lives."
Det Ch Insp Dave Whellams led the investigation into Jodie's murder.
He said: "I would like to pay tribute to Jodie, who was clearly a wonderful and joyful young woman with so much to offer the world.
"The testimonies to her character and kindness have been a source of sadness as well as a celebration of a life that touched so many.
"This is among the saddest cases I have led and I can only hope that today's verdict has provided a modest sense of justice for her family and friends.
"This is a case which has affected not only those in the local area, but throughout London and nationally.
"The death of any young person by knife violence is a terrible event, and we must all work together to stop this from ruining the lives of more young people.
"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.