Jodie Chesney stabbing: Teenager sobs in court after being charged with 17-year-old's murder

Boy, 16, and 20-year-old Manuel Petrovic accused of knifing girl scout from behind in London park

Chris Baynes
Monday 11 March 2019 18:06 GMT
Jodie Chesney, 17, was knifed to death in Romford on 1 March
Jodie Chesney, 17, was knifed to death in Romford on 1 March (Metropolitan Police)

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Louise Thomas

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Two people, including a 16-year-old boy, have appeared in court charged with murdering 17-year-old Jodie Chesney.

The teenage defendant, who cannot be named because of his age, wept during a short hearing at Barkingside Magistrates' Court in east London.

He is charged alongside Manuel Petrovic, 20, who appeared earlier on Monday at the Old Bailey by video link.

The pair are accused of stabbing to Jodie to death near a children's playground at Harold Hill, Romford, on 1 March.

The girl scout had been had been playing music with friends when she was knifed from behind in a seemingly motiveless attack, which prompted renewed anguish over knife crime in the UK.

Jodie's friends and family tied purple ribbons in her memory to trees and railings outside the two courts where her alleged killers appeared on Monday.

The younger defendant, wearing a grey Puma hoodie, wiped tears from his face as the charge was read out.

He was flanked by three security staff and spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

Presiding magistrate Greg Nottage said: "I know you're looking very upset but listen carefully, this matter will be sent to the Central Criminal Court tomorrow."

Flowers laid in memory of Romford stabbing victim Jodie Chesney

Mr Petrovic, of Highfield Road, Romford, spoke only to confirm his name and Croatian nationality when he appeared by video link from Pentonville prison. He was remanded in custody.

The defendants will appear for a plea hearing at the Old Bailey on 28 May before a three-week trial, scheduled for 2 September.

An 18-year-old man from Romford is also being held in police custody on suspicion of murder.

A 50-year-old man and 38-year-old woman, both from Dagenham, east London, and a 17-year-old boy, have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Additional reporting by agencies

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