Jodie Chesney: Collier Row drug dealer and 17-year-old who murdered Dagenham scout in Harold Hill jailed for life
PUBLISHED: 15:46 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:20 19 November 2019
A Collier Row drug dealer and a 17-year-old boy from Barking have been sentenced to a total of 44 years in prison for the murder of Jodie Chesney.
Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19, of Hillfoot Road and 17-year-old Aaron Isaacs were jailed for life at the Old Bailey today (Monday, November 18).
Ong-a-Kwie was jailed for 26 years, while Isaacs was handed an 18-year sentence.
Ong-a-Kwie was also handed a further six-week sentence for breaching a previous suspended sentence, but this will be served concurrently.
Immediately following the sentencing, Judge Wendy Joseph QC lifted a court order that had been in place to protect Isaacs' identity during the murder trial.
It took a jury less than six hours to find Ong-a-Kwie and the 17-year-old guilty of murder at the same court on Thursday, November 7.
Their co-defendants Manuel Petrovic, 20, and a 16-year-old boy were cleared of murder following a seven week trial.
In her sentencing, Judge Joseph QC told the court Jodie's death, which led to a "world of anguish" for her family, came amid "tit for tat" incidents.
She said Jodie was the victim of "callous, casual and irresponsible violence" which had shocked the community "to the core".
She said the defendants had gone to Amy's Park for a "planned attack on a rival group" and mistook their target.
She said: "I'm sure that whoever drove the knife almost through Jodie's body could have intended nothing but death."
On the evidence, she found Ong-a-Kwie was the stabber and the 17-year-old his "enthusiastic supporter".
During the sentencing, a number of victim impact statements were read out on behalf of Jodie's friends and family.
Her boyfriend, Eddie Coyle, said: "Jodie was funny, silly, she always made fun of me and she had a bright future ahead of her.
"She was full of energy and was always out doing something. We had been going out for three months.
"I've never lost anyone before and for the first funeral I've gone to, to be my own girlfriend's is incredibly hard. I loved her."
Jodie's sister Lucy Chesney also described the impact of her loss.
She said in her statement: "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."
"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."
Jodie's father Peter Chesney told how he had just got a job in the City as a salesman when his life was "destroyed".
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From being ready to "take on the world" with a promising career, he was instead sitting in a cabin in his garden, writing a victim impact statement.
Mr Chesney said: "I have lost the most precious human being I will ever know. I have no idea how I'm going to continue my life or come to terms with the loss.
"I have a fantastic daughter Lucy and we are leaning on each other throughout this tragedy."
The court heard Ong-a-Kwie had convictions for possessing and supplying drugs.
He admitted being in breach of a six-week suspended sentence for handling stolen jewellery dating back to October last year.
The 17-year-old defendant had previous convictions for possessing a screwdriver, actual bodily harm, possession of cannabis as well as aggravated vehicle taking.
Charles Sherrard, defending Ong-a-Kwie asked judge Wendy Joseph to find "equal culpability" for Ong-a-Kwie and the 17-year-old.
He told the court that Svenson never really knew his father and he had never had, "the guidance that everyone is entitled to have" from a father.
However Judge Joseph pointed out that the Ong-a-Kwie did have the guidance of a living mother which the 17-year-old was without.
Natasha Wong, defending the 17-year-old told the court that his mother suffered from mental health issues and that the 17-year-old was first referred to social services at the age of four.
"Over the years until he was remanded in custody he had nine Foster care homes," said Ms Wong.
When asked by the judge if she had a physiological report for the 17-year-old, Ms Wong said he is not thought to suffer from any mental health issues.
On Friday, March 1, Jodie had finished at Havering College for the afternoon and had gone home to Dagenham to walk her dog.
She and her boyfriend then met up with four of their closest friends at Romford Station, before heading to Amy's Park in St Neot's Road.
As the group of friends sat on a bench table in the park, talking and listening to music, the court heard how two teenagers entered the park and one of them stabbed Jodie in the back.
The first call to the emergency services was made at 21.22pm and two police officers arrived at the scene at around 21.35pm.
One of the officers began chest compressions and around a minute or so after, medics from London Ambulance Service arrived.
In order to try and save Jodie's life, a team of London Air Ambulance medics in a car were deployed to meet the ambulance at an Esso Garage in Gants Hill, Redbridge.
It was there, on the forecourt of a petrol station, that doctors opened Jodie's chest in an attempt to get her heart beating again.
They were unable to save her, as the stab wound had caused her lung to collapse and bleed heavily.
Jodie was pronounced dead at 22.26pm.
At a post-mortem examination at East Ham Public Mortuary on Sunday, March 3, Home Office pathologist Dr Fegan-Earl attributed the cause of death to a combination of shock and haemorrhage.
At 6ft 2in, Ong-a-Kwie was identified as Jodie's stabber, even though he blamed his 17-year-old "runner" for the attack.
It was suggested Ong-a-Kwie was the driving force behind the murder because he wanted revenge for an earlier stabbing by another youth.