'She will never be back but this is some justice': Jodie Chesney's family react to murderers being jailed for life
PUBLISHED: 17:37 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:47 18 November 2019
Jodie Chesney's family gave an emotional statement outside the Old Bailey this afternoon after the teenager's murderers were jailed for life.
Drug dealer Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19, of Hillfoot Road, Collier Row and his 17-year-old runner Aaron Isaacs, of Westrow Drive, Barking, were involved in a "tit-for-tat vendetta" with rivals when they killed Jodie by mistake, the Old Bailey heard.
The popular 17-year-old student had been relaxing with friends in Amy's Park in Harold Hill, on the evening of March 1 when two shadowy figures emerged from the dark and one fatally knifed her in the back.
They were jailed for 26 and 18 years respectively at the same court on Monday afternoon (November 18).
Speaking outside the Old Bailey following the sentencing hearing,Det Ch Insp Dave Whellams, from the Metropolitan Police, said the force was "pleased and proud of these convictions".
He paid tribute to Jodie's family who he said had been through a "great ordeal" and expressed hope they would now be able to find "some form of closure".
Surrounded by Jodie's family members, Det Insp Perry Benton said the "moving" statements read in court had left "a lot of people in tears".
Det Insp Benton said Jodie's murder was "one of the hardest investigations I've ever dealt with".
He added: "These individuals have shown no remorse since day one.
"They denied even knowing they were wanted for her murder. They tried to limit their involvement in this tragic and horrific murder from day one.
"They are both drug dealers. They sought to cause injury to a young 17-year-old girl who had the rest of her life ahead of her. For no reason."
Speaking on behalf of Jodie's family, her uncle Terry Chesney thanked the police for their work.
He said: "Everyone involved from start to end has been amazing."
Asked if the family would be able to move on following the sentences, Mr Chesney said: "We try."
"She will never be back but this was some justice," he added.
Mr Chesney explained that Jodie's father, who was not present at court, had been informed of the sentences and was "very happy".