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Jodie Chesney trial: Youth accused of murdering Dagenham scout in Harold Hill denies owning knife found in his possession

PUBLISHED: 17:30 25 October 2019

Jodie Chesney at London Pride 2018. Picture: Chesney family

Jodie Chesney at London Pride 2018. Picture: Chesney family

Archant

A 17-year-old accused of killing Jodie Chesney denies owning the knife that he attempted to hide before his arrest, a court hears.

Jodie Chesney was fatally stabbed in the back in Amy's Park, St Neot's Road, Harold Hill, on the evening of March 1.

Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19, of Hillfoot Road, Collier Row, Manuel Petrovic, 20, of Highfield Road, Collier Row and two youths aged 16 and 17 who cannot be identified, from east London, have denied her murder.

Defence lawyer Charles Sherrard QC showed the Old Bailey a knife that had been discovered in the youth's rucksack on the day of his arrest.

Mr Sherrard asked the youth: "Do you agree that this can not have a legitimate purpose?

"It's not a kitchen knife - it's not for tools. This is for stabbing."

The 17-year-old disagreed. He said: "People collect knives. People use it for things like fishing."

He claimed the knife belonged to a friend of whose name he refused to mention in court.

When asked why he tried to throw the knife away on the day of his arrest, the youth agreed that it had been his plan to escape.

Mr Sherrard referred the 17-year-old to an incident in September last year when he and his co-defendant, Mr Ong-a-Kwie- were involved in a violent altercation with an 18-year-old and 19-year-old in Harold Hill.

Jurors were shown footage of a car and moped pulling up in a street.

Two figures can be seen getting off the moped and attacking another teenager in the street.

Mr Sherrard suggested that one of the attackers was the youth.

He said the 17-year-old had introduced a knife into the fight and while he repeatedly stabbed the victim he accidentally stabbed Mr Ong-a-Kwie in the hand.

The youth told jurors that he was driving the car and that he never left the vehicle during the fight.

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"I suggest that on September 6 you are somebody who randomly got involved in an accident and stabbed somebody," said Mr Sherrard.

"And actually that's what happened with Jodie too."

The youth responded: "No, because I didn't stab Jodie."

During further cross-examination from prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC, the 17-year-old admitted to lying in his defence statement because he didn't think his story would be "believable".

He told jurors that he and Mr Ong-a-Kwie were best friends, and that while he didn't look up to him, he had "a lot of respect" for his co-defendant.

He also said that he smoked weed but wasn't involved with dealing drugs. Instead he stole and sold mopeds.

Mr Sherrard played the recording of a conversation between the youth and his brother for the jurors.

He can be heard saying: "Man ain't gonna say no names or nothing. Man don't know nothing."

The youth also refers to being charged with conspiracy for grievious bodily harm.

Mr Aylett asked why the 17-year-old was talking about getting an eight-year-sentence and spending half of the the time in jail.

The youth responded: "It's better than getting life for something you didn't do."

Mr Aylett told the Old Bailey: "The truth is that you and Svenson and the others agreed to cause really serious bodily harm to somebody in that park.

"You didn't expect anybody to get killed.

"The reason you became involved is that you and Svenson were close.

"He was your best friend. He seems to have had beef in Harold Hill, either they were your beefs aswell or they became your beefs."

The trial continues.

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