Jodie Chesney: Murder suspect ‘returned to scene of crime’ after killing, court hears

Manuel Petrovic denies involvement with Girl Scout's death

Zamira Rahim
Tuesday 15 October 2019 23:30 BST
Undated family handout photo of Jodie Chesney, 17, at the Pride London 2018 event.
Undated family handout photo of Jodie Chesney, 17, at the Pride London 2018 event.

One of the four suspects accused of killing a teenage girl in an east London park, went back to check the scene of the crime after the murder, a court has heard.

Jodie Chesney, a 17-year-old Girl Scout, was stabbed in the back as she socialised with friends in Amy’s Park in Harold Hill on 1 March. She died at the scene shortly afterwards.

It is alleged that the schoolgirl was mistakenly targeted over a drug dispute.

Mobile phone records placed Manuel Petrovic back at the crime scene after the killing, Charles Sherrard QC, prosecuting, said during cross examination at London's Old Bailey.

The 20-year-old has been charged with Chesney's murder alongside 19-year-old Svenson Ong-a-Kwie and two teenagers aged 16 and 17, who cannot be named. All deny the charges.

“One of the things I suggest and I will come to the detail of it tomorrow that by the time you left Amy’s Park that you knew an incident had occurred,” Mr Sherrard said. “Once you drop off [the other defendants] there’s an understanding that you are going to go back and check.”

Mr Petrovic denied revisiting the park and claimed he did not even know a stabbing had happened.

He said he was in the mobile coverage area because he was selling drugs to a customer in a nearby pub.

”I believe that the same cell site picks up the A12. The reason I was in that area is to drop off Class A," he said, adding that CCTV footage would show him "pulling up at the Shepherd and Dog pub.”

Mr Sherrard suggested Mr Petrovic had tried to distance himself from Mr Ong-a-Kwie to escape punishment.

“I suggest to you that from the moment you were arrested you have decided that it’s your best approach, your best tactic, is to paint yourself as a particular type of person, somebody who is ‘too nice,’ the older brother type and wherever possible distance yourself from Svenson,” the lawyer said.

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He added that Petrovic was "the person who gave him the crucial lift" on the day of the murder.

“On 2 March you were the person he trusted to take over his drug line," he said. "I would suggest you would have each others’ back.”

He added: “In distancing yourself, you have chosen to rewrite the truth and metaphorically thrown him under the bus?”

Mr Petrovic this suggestion was "not correct" and the pair "were were more business associates rather than friends."

The trial continues.

Additional reporting by agencies

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