Jodie Chesney: girl, 17, killed in 'cowardly' stabbing in 'drug turf war'
17 September 2019, 14:11 | Updated: 24 October 2019, 11:06
A popular Girl Scout died after being stabbed in the back was unlikely to have been the intended target, the Old Bailey has been told.
Jodie Chesney, 17, was relaxing with friends in a park in Harold Hill, east London, when she was murdered on 1 March.
At around 9.20pm, Jodie's boyfriend noticed two people making their way towards them, and saw one of the figures swing his right arm towards Jodie's back.
When Jodie screamed, the two people disappeared, leaving her with a deep wound which bled heavily.
A local resident heard her screams and came to help as Jodie's friends became "hysterical", jurors were told.
By the time an ambulance arrived, she showed no signs of life and was pronounced dead en route to hospital on the forecourt of a petrol station.
Following national publicity, police got a "breakthrough" when a witness reported two males getting into a stationary black Vauxhall Corsa, which was later found abandoned two miles away.
The Corsa was registered to the defendant Manuel Petrovic, 20,.
After being arrested, Petrovic claimed he, a friend and two others had gone to the park to collect money and drugs, but denied knowing any of the group were armed.
But Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC argued that the gang had gone there to "mete out violence."
He added that Jodie was a "beautiful, well liked, fun" young woman who had nothing to do with drug dealing and was unlikely to have been the intended target.
He told jurors: "The drug-dealing world is one of turf wars, rivalries and pathetic claims for 'respect'.
"And when drug dealers fall out, they do not take their problems to the police. Instead, they take matters into their own hands, prepared to use serious violence in order to prove whatever point it is that they wish to make."
Mr Aylett said none of Jodie's friends had any idea who was responsible for the "terrible and cowardly" attack.
Petrovic, Svenson Ong-a-kwie, 19, and two youths, aged 16 and 17, from Barking and Romford, were subsequently charged with Jodie's murder.
Mr Aylett added: "If the prosecution are right in saying that Jodie Chesney was an entirely blameless individual who got caught up in some quarrel between drug dealers, then her murder was the terrible but predictable consequence of an all-too casual approach to the carrying - and using - of knives."
The defendants, all allegedly involved in drug dealing, deny murder.
The trial continues.