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P
Pa
November 8, 2019

Father relieved as Jodie’s murderers convicted

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P
Pa
November 8, 2019

LONDON: The father of Girl Scout Jodie Chesney shouted “We got them” as two teenage drug dealers were found guilty of her murder.

The popular student had been smoking cannabis and listening to music with friends in a park when she was stabbed in the back on the evening of March 1. In a case of mistaken identity, Jodie, 17, was an innocent victim of “casual violence” in the drug-dealing world, jurors heard.

Jodie’s family shouted “Yes” at the Old Bailey as a jury found Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19, and a 17-year-old boy guilty of murder after less than six hours of deliberations. Their co-defendants Manuel Petrovic, 20, and a 16-year-old boy were cleared of murder. The 16-year-old and 17-year-old cannot be named because of their age.

Speaking outside court, Jodie’s father Peter said: “The two people in the park I’m over the moon about. I’m pleased with the verdict. We got them. Justice for Jodie.” Chesney had hugged senior officers outside court as Jodie’s sister Lucy wiped away tears.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC had told jurors they took a “casual approach to violence” in a world where knife crime was “routine”. The court had heard how Ong-a-Kwie had been knifed in the thigh six months before and was on the lookout for his assailants on the day of the murder.

Police said at least three knives had been seized during the investigation but none was confirmed as the murder weapon.On the evening of March 1, Petrovic had driven the defendants to Amy’s Park in Harold Hill, east London, after Ong-a-Kwie sent an urgent request for a lift. Petrovic did a U-turn, turned off his headlights and waited in the car with the 16-year-old defendant as Ong-a-Kwie and the 17-year-old ran in armed with a knife.

Chilling CCTV captured the shadowy figures of Ong-a-Kwie and the 17-year-old disappearing into the park before the sounds of Jodie screaming could be heard.Giving evidence, Jodie’s boyfriend Eddie Coyle, 18, told how she collapsed in his arms in front of their horrified friends. He said he thought the taller of the two assailants — said to be 6ft 2in Ong-a-Kwie - was about to punch Jodie when he “swung his arm out” and stabbed her.

Coyle said: “She was in shock at first. She started screaming continuously, very loud, about two minutes straight. After she stopped screaming she began to faint.” Jodie died before she arrived at hospital from a 18cm deep stab wound to the back which almost passed right through her body.The two killers will be sentenced on November 18.

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