'I've done something real bad': Jodie Chesney murder suspect made admission to friend, court hears

Svenson Ong-a-Kwie called friend to ask for money on the day after teenage girl was stabbed to death, jury told

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Wednesday 02 October 2019 21:45
Man charged with murder of Jodie Chesney

One of the four suspects accused of killing a teenage girl in a London park told a friend he had “done something real bad" the day after her murder, a court heard.

Jodie Chesney, a 17-year-old Girl Scout, was stabbed in the back as she socialised with friends in Harold Hill, east London.

London's Old Bailey heard that the day after her death on 1 March, Svenson Ong-a-Kwie called his friend.

"He rang me and ask me to lend some money," Tom Giles-Wyatt, who is serving an unrelated prison sentence for burglary, told jurors. "My missus reminded me I actually owed him some money from previous work.

“His exact words were: 'I've done something real bad'.”

The 19-year-old defendant, who denies murder, received £70 after the call, Giles-Wyatt said.

He added that he asked Mr Ong-a-Kwie what the money was for but "he said he could not tell me over the phone which I thought was strange”.

They spoke about Jodie’s death afterwards but Giles-Wyatt told jurors he would have taken his friend to a police station if he believed he was involved.

“My exact words were: 'Did you hear about that girl that's been murdered, that 17-year-old girl'", he said, adding that his friend had replied: "Yeah, I know, it's f***ed innit.”

The Old Bailey previously heard that Jodie was stabbed to death because she had been “caught up in a quarrel between drug dealers”.

Her friends had been playing music and smoking cannabis in the park when her boyfriend noticed two victims moving silently towards them in the dark.

Eddie Coyle said he saw the taller of the pair swing his right arm at Jodie's back, before she screamed and they disappeared.

The court heard that the 18-year-old caught Jodie as she fell and eased her to the ground, crying and screaming for her to stay awake as he held her hand.

A local resident heard the screams and came to help as Jodie's friends became “hysterical”, jurors heard.

By the time an ambulance arrived, she showed no signs of life and was pronounced dead on route to hospital on the forecourt of a petrol station.

CCTV video grab issued by the Metropolitan Police of Svenson Ong-a-Kwie getting in a Vauxhall Corsa on March 1.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told jurors that none of Jodie's friends had any idea who was responsible for the “terrible and cowardly” attack.

But police received a “breakthrough” when a witness reported two males getting into a black Vauxhall Corsa registered to 20-year-old Manuel Petrovic.

Following his arrest, Mr Petrovic admitted driving to Harold Hill with a friend and two others who had gone into the park to collect money and drugs. But he denied knowing the pair were armed beforehand, the court heard.

Prosecutors allege that all four defendants had gone together in Mr Petrovic's car to Harold Hill “to mete out violence”.

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Investigators identified Mr Petrovic's friend and the two other suspects through CCTV footage and mobile phone data, jurors heard.

Mr Ong-a-Kwie, Mr Petrovic and two youths aged 16 and 17, all from east London, have denied murder.

Mr Aylett described Jodie as a “beautiful, well liked, fun” young woman who had nothing to do with drug dealing.

The Havering Sixth Form College student had been studying three A-levels and was weeks away from completing her Duke of Edinburgh gold award.

The trial continues.

Additional reporting by Press Association