A girl scout was stabbed to death in a ‘terrible and cowardly’ attack after getting caught up in a turf war over drugs, a court has heard.
Jodie Chesney, 17, was with friends in a park, in Harold Hill, east London, playing music and smoking cannabis, when she was stabbed in the back on March 1.
The Old Bailey heard 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.
On the night of the stabbing, Jodie’s boyfriend told the court that he noticed two figures coming out of the darkness noiselessly towards them.
He saw the taller of the pair swing his right arm at Jodie’s back.
Jodie screamed in pain, and the two figures ran off into the darkness, jurors were told.
She began bleeding heavily from her back following the stabbing, as a local resident who had heard her screams rushed to her aid.
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.
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC, told jurors that none of Jodie’s friends had any idea who was responsible for the ‘terrible and cowardly’ attack.
Detectives were only able to track down the suspects after a national publicity campaign led to a witness reporting two males getting into a parked black Vauxhall Corsa.
Jurors were told that if it wasn’t for the ‘chance sighting’, Jodie’s murder could have gone unsolved.
Officers found an abandoned black Corsa two miles away from the scene, which was registered to the defendant Manuel Petrovic.
Following his arrest, Petrovic admitted driving to Harold Hill with a friend and two others who had gone into the park to collect money and drugs.
He denied knowing the pair were armed beforehand, the court heard.
Detectives were able to identify Petrovic’s friend and the two others through CCTV footage and mobile phone data.
Petrovic, 20, 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 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.’
The defendants, all allegedly involved in drug dealing, deny murder.
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