Jodie Chesney, 17, was brutally stabbed to death in a park in Romford last night
The 17-year-old girl scout stabbed to death on Friday was killed in cold blood as two men walked straight up to her and one of them knifed her in the back, police have revealed.
Jodie Chesney was murdered while playing music with her boyfriend, 18-year-old Eddie Coyle, and four other friends in Harold Hill, Romford, on Friday night.
Police have said the killer was a black teenager who had been in the park with another man earlier in the evening, before returning at 9.30pm and stabbing Ms Chesney in the back.
The two suspects then ran off while her her heartbroken boyfriend screamed for help and ‘stroked and kissed her face’ as she lay bleeding to death, witnesses have said.
Mr Coyle left an emotional message on a card nearby, saying: ‘Jodie you are the best thing that could have happened in my life. I will love you always and you will forever be in my heart beautiful.’
Detectives are appealing for further witnesses but have yet to make any arrests.
A post-mortem at East Ham mortuary today confirmed her cause of death as trauma and haemorrhage, Scotland Yard said.
Witness Krystle Pasha, who lives close to the scene of the stabbing, told Sky News she heard arguing and shouting before a ‘disturbing’ scream in the moments before the attack.
‘I heard a lot of loud arguing, a lot of loud noise, shouting, followed by a really loud scream,’ she said.
Speaking to ITV News on Sunday, her uncle Dave Chesney, said the family was ‘devastated’, saying: ‘This was a totally random and unprovoked attack on a beautiful, lovely and quirky young girl with her whole life in front of her.’
The killing comes just months after the 17-year-old appeared on the BBC in her Scouts uniform at a Festival of Remembrance.
The ‘sweet’ Girl Scout is stood next to Explorer Scouts at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2018, as reported by
She is seen marching on the stage in front of the Queen and Prince William, and earlier in the day posted a snap of herself posing outside 10 Downing Street.
Claire Gillham, mother of Jodie Chesney (far right) pays her respects at the scene at St Neots Road, Harold Hill where Jodie Chesney was stabbed to death
Jodie’s mother left flowers and a lantern for her daughter, as friends and relatives hugged one another at the scene of the devastating killing
The scene of the crime in Romford where Jodie Chesney was knifed to death. Forensic police officers search the park as flowers and lanterns are left nearby
Teenage girls sobbed at the scene and were comforted by friends after Jodie’s death. Her mother Claire (left) placed a lantern and flowers under a tree
Another witness to the incident, mother-of-three Teresa Farenden, 49, and her friend Kelly Smith, 36, said two men stabbed the teenage girl in front of her boyfriend, before fleeing.
Mr Coyle was heard yelling by Mrs Farenden, from the park known locally as ‘Amy’s Park’.
She said: ‘I was trying to do my coat up in the drive and I shouted out ‘is everything okay?’ as I was worried it could be kids drinking.
‘Then a boy said ‘no I need help, my girlfriend has been stabbed’ and I just flew over there in my flip flops.
‘We tried to compress the wound to stop the bleeding but there was just so much. It was like being in a horror movie.
‘When I got there she was breathing but it was very shallow, she was groaning and there was a slight pulse.
‘The boyfriend was holding her and kissing her face. He was whispering and begging her, ‘Please, please stay awake’.
Family and friends of Jodie Chesney arrived at the park known locally as Amy’s Park with flowers and bears. Cards described the teenager as an ‘angel’
Jodie Chesney, 17, (circled in red) is stood next to Explorer Scouts at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2018. Just months later she would be stabbed to death in a London park
Jodie Chesney was stabbed in the back and lay bleeding to death in a park on Friday night. Her boyfriend comforted her as neighbours of the park ran over to try and save her
Police officers remain at the scene of the killing on Sunday as officers try to track down her attackers – believe to be a group of young men
Flowers describing Jodie as an ‘angel’ were left at the scene near Amy’s Park after Jodie was killed on Friday
Police continue to work at the scene in Harold Hill, Romford where Jodie Chesney was stabbed to death on Saturday
The park remains closed off with a blue tent still in place as officers comb the area for clues as to who the attackers were
Officers have been conducting a fingertip search of the area after Jodie Chesney was fatally stabbed in the park in Havering
Just hours before her death Ms Chesney posted an Instagram picture which said: ‘Happy birthday Dad’ and tagged Pete Chesney on his 39th
Friends lay flowers at the scene in Harold Hill, Romford where Jodie Chesney was stabbed to death. Police and forensic teams remain at the scene today
Family and friends, including Jodie’s mother Claire (front, green jacket) visit the area where 17-year-old Jodie Chesney was killed
Mrs Farenden said: ‘The ambulance arrived and I told the 999 call handler. She asked me to stay on the phone until the crew had reached us on the park. And in that moment the girl died.
‘I turned to look at her and my friend, who had come to help, just said, ‘We’ve lost her’.’
Mrs Farenden – whose house faces the park – began CPR but did not realise the blade remained lodged in Jodie’s back. It is believed she was stabbed with such force the blade snapped meaning those comforting her could not see it.
She added: ‘The knife blade was still in her, but I didn’t see it because it was dark.
‘I didn’t realise at the time, but then all I kept thinking once the police told me was ‘have I put the knife in further by giving her compressions?”
She added: ‘It was horrific, it was just the blood. There must’ve been two pints of blood. There was so much of it.
‘The girl was moaning, but she was mostly silent. We checked her pulse and we could hear her breathing.’
The A-level student, who was described as having a ‘heart of gold,’ became the 18th murder victim this year in the blood-soaked capital.
Jodie Chesney with her boyfriend Ed Coyle who comforted her and kissed her face as she lay dying
It is believed multiple young men approached Jodie, Eddie and another friend as they sat in the park, before the attack.
Jodie posted a birthday message to her father online just hours before she was knifed to death.
Ms Chesney was an enthusiastic Scout Explorer who had visited Downing Street in November posting on Instagram that it was ‘so much fun’ and ‘I’m basically famous now.’
She had been snapped with the Girl Guides meeting former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
Ms Chesney was also selected to honour the Chelsea Pensioners at the Royal Albert Hall in a BBC1 broadcast for Remembrance.
Jodie’s heartbroken grandmother Debbie called for an end to ‘needless violence’ sweeping the capital as police continue to hunt for two men seen fleeing the scene. No arrests have been made.
In an apparently random attack, popular sixth former Ms Chesney was left with a blade embedded deep inside her back after she and Mr Coyle were approached by a gang of youths in balaclavas,
Mr Coyle was described by his mother’s partner as being ‘in pieces.’
He told the Mail on Sunday: ‘Jodie was the nicest, loveliest and kindest person you could meet with everything to look forward to in life. I don’t know how long it will take Eddie to comeback from this.
‘To have to witness what he did is devastating.’
Her grandmother wrote on Facebook: ‘This was our youngest granddaughter. How have we come to this point where kids can’t have a walk in a park without suffering an unprovoked attack?
‘If anyone knows anything about this please contact the police with information. We don’t want anyone else to go through what our family is suffering right now. This has to stop, there are too many young people having their lives cut short by needless violence.’
Ms Chesney in her girl scouts uniform outside 10 Downing Street, she was described as a ‘bright and lovely’ A-level student who was involved in the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme
When emergency services arrived, Jodie Chesney (left and right) still had the blade lodged in her back as horrified neighbours rushed to save her life
A message left today at the park said: ‘Jodie, We love you. You are so strong. We will always remember you’
Mourners gathered at the park in Harold Hill on Saturday after she bled to death within an hour of being stabbed on Friday night
Ms Chesney became the 18th murder victim in London this year as the knife crime epidemic continues to ravage the capital
Members of the public speak to a police officer near the scene at St Neot’s Road in Harold Hill, east London following the fatal stabbing
Just hours earlier Ms Chesney had posted an Instagram post of her with her father Pete to wish him a happy 39th birthday.
Ms Chesney is believed to have lived with her father and step-mother Joanne in nearby Dagenham.
Mrs Farenden was in the kitchen when her son, who was playing X-Box, heard screaming and said ‘mum, somebody is shouting ‘help’ from the park.’
She said: ‘I was in the kitchen and I thought I’d better check it out just in case.
‘I never thought in a million years that I was coming out to a murder and that I would be walking out to a young lady who had been stabbed.’
Debbie Chesney, Jodie’s grandmother, said: ‘We don’t want anyone else to go through what our family is suffering right now’
The mother found the victim lying on her back in the corner of the park with her boyfriend beside her.
She said she put the girl in the recovery position and administered CPR.
‘People are scared to help, but all I was thinking with my mother’s instinct was ‘I need to help,’ she said.
‘Her boyfriend did everything he could. When I came over she was on her back so I moved her onto her side.
‘Then the boyfriend’s friend came over with some kitchen roll. Then there was another girl and a man came over in a van to help and took his coat off to keep it on the wound and keep it compressed as much as they could.
‘I think he was the dad of one of the boyfriend’s friends. I was just trying to keep her legs in the recovery position because she was heavy, like a dead weight.
‘Just as the ambulance crew turned up, she had gone. It was devastating.’
Paramedics battled to save the victim who died in the play park an hour later.
One of her friends told
Mrs Farenden said it is the first time in the 16 years she has lived by the park that ‘anything like this has happened’.
She said: ‘It is so traumatic – she is not going to have any children, she is not going to get married – it has all been taken away.
‘She was such an attractive girl and her boyfriend was a lovely looking lad.
‘It just seems so random; it must’ve been horrific for her boyfriend and those other young people there to experience.
‘It is just unreal – I think ‘God, it could have been my daughter.”
A young man arrives to place a bouquet of flowers near the scene of the tragic fatal stabbing – she has been described by other teens from the area as ‘the most happy person’
Flowers left by a tree with notes attached close to where Jodie Chesney was stabbed to death in front of her boyfriend
Police were called to reports of a stabbing in children’s park close to St Neot’s Road in Harold Hill at 9.25pm on Friday, where they found the girl with slash wounds. Pictured: Forensic officers at the scene this morning
Paramedics battled for an hour to save the teenager but she died at the scene an hour later. A forensic officer inspects evidence at the park this morning
Jodie Chesney was stabbed to death in a park as she sat with her boyfriend on Friday night. ‘Disturbing’ screams were heard by neighbours
Sadiq Khan said he was ‘filled with anger’ and ‘devastated’ by the killing of the teenage girl – as murders in the capital soar
‘I thought it was a boy who was hurt because you’re used to seeing these things in the news but it was a girl: a girl, a young girl.’
Forensic tents were put up just metres away from swings, slides and climbing frames in the play park.
Detectives from the force’s homicide and major crime command are investigating and said there will be an increase of police patrols in the area.
‘At this early stage, there have been no arrests and enquiries continue,’ a Met Police spokesman said.
Acting Detective Chief Superintendent John Ross, of the Met’s East Area Command Unit, said: ‘Yesterday a 17-year-old girl lost her life, and I want to express my deepest sympathies to this girl’s family and friends.
‘Her death is a tragedy. I can reassure them and the whole community that we are doing everything possible to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible.’
The park has been taped off today as forensics officers carried out their investigaitons
It’s the 18th stab death in the space of three months – marking a harrowing reminder of London’s knife crime epidemic
Jodie was the first victim of 18 people killed in London this year to be a teenage girl.
Sadiq Khan said he was ‘filled with anger’ and ‘devastated’ by the killing of the teenager.
In a tweet this morning, the Mayor of London said: ‘Devastated by the fatal stabbing of a 17 year-old girl in Havering.
‘My thoughts are with her loved ones. It fills me with anger that violent criminals are targeting young Londoners with their whole lives before them. I encourage anyone with information to contact the police.’
It’s the latest brutal killing in the capital after a 20-year-old man was stabbed to death outside Ilford train station in east London on Tuesday.
Che Morrison was knifed after a fight broke out just before 8.50pm. Witnesses said he was ‘slashed in the face’ during the attack.
Nineteen-year-old Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck was also fatally stabbed by a gang riding bikes in Wood Green, north London, last week.
Che Morrison, 20, was stabbed to death outside Ilford train station in east London on Tuesday
He was chased into a hair salon by men armed with a firearm, knives and a samurai sword on February 22 and slaughtered in front of children.
A day earlier, a 23-year-old man – Glendon Spence – was stabbed to death in Brixton, south London, at a youth club which had children as young as seven inside.
Meanwhile in Manchester, 17-year-old Yousef Ghaleb Makki from Burnage, was stabbed to death in Hale Barns.
Police rushed to the village of Hale Barns, near Altrincham, Greater Manchester, at about 6.40pm on Saturday to reports of a stabbing.
Yousef was taken to hospital where he died a short time later.
And in Soho a woman has been arrested after a man was stabbed in central London.
The man, believed to be in his 30s, was rushed to hospital and his condition is being treated as ‘life-threatening’, the force said.
The Metropolitan Police said officers were called to reports a man had been stabbed in Romilly Street, Soho, at about 6am on Sunday.
A woman in her 40s was arrested near the scene and taken to a central London police station for questioning.
Due to the spate of violence, Met officers are out in force carrying out a series of stop and searches around the capital today.
Earlier this week, police in Birmingham were given temporary powers allowing them to stop and search anyone ‘without reasonable grounds’ after three fatal stabbings in a fortnight gripped the city.
Birmingham blighted by knife crime as three stabbed to death in 12 days:
Hazrat Umar, 17, was on his way to the gym when he was attacked in the Bordesley Green area
Police in Birmingham are also battling to stop knife crime across the city after three teenagers were fatally stabbed in just 12 days.
Student Hazrat Umar, 17, died after being knifed in Cherrywood Road, Bordesley Green, at around 2pm on Monday.
Hazrat Umar, 17, who is the nephew of the former chief prosecutor, was knifed to death on his way to the gym in the Bordesley Green area of the city.
West Midlands Police have revealed a 16-year-old youth has now been arrested on suspicion of murder.
The killing comes five days after 16-year-old Abdullah Muhammad was discovered fatally wounded near a park in Small Heath, on February 20.
A post mortem examination found that the student, of Lindale Avenue, Hodgehill, died as a result of an assault. He was stabbed in the chest and back.
Another teenager, Mohammed Sidali, also 16, died in hospital on 15 February after being attacked outside Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College in Highgate.
A knife arch was placed outside McDonald’s in nearby High Street, with officers also using stop and search powers following the deaths.
Speaking in Birmingham Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he is ‘very concerned’ about stabbings in Birmingham.
A 16-year-old boy was taken to hospital after he was knifed in the leg in Birmingham city centre on Tuesday afternoon.
Police sealed off parts of Bull Street following the stabbing in a British Heart Foundation store – which has a large blood stain on the carpet inside.
Shoppers crowded around the scene while police searched bushes in the area after being called to the incident at around 5.30pm today.
A group of women, one identified as the mother of the victim (right) arrive at the scene of a fatal stabbing in Birmingham
Police have sealed off parts of Bull Street after the teenager was knifed in a British Heart Foundation store – which has a large blood stain on the carpet inside (pictured)
A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: ‘Police have been called to a stabbing at a shop in Bull Street, Birmingham city centre, around 5.30pm today (Tuesday 26 February).
‘A 16-year-old boy has been taken to hospital with a leg injury.
‘Enquiries are at an early stage and anyone with information is asked to contact police.’
Timeline of London’s homicides in 2019:
January 1: Charlotte Huggins, 33, is believed to have been the first homicide victim in London in 2019. She was stabbed in Camberwell, south-east London, in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
January 1: Later that day, security guard Tudor Simionov, also 33, was stabbed to death at about 5.30am as he tried to prevent gatecrashers storming a private party in Park Lane, central London.
January 4: Simbiso Aretha Moula, 39, was found murdered in her home in Rainham, east London. Her husband, Garikayi Moula, was found hanged. Police were not seeking anyone else in connection with the murder.
January 5: Sarah Ashraf, 35, was found dead in a home in the Isle of Dogs, east London. A 32-year-old man was charged with murder.
January 8: Just 14 years old, Jaden Moodie was knocked off a moped and stabbed to death in Leyton, east London.
January 11: Asma Begum, 31, was found with a neck injury in a property City Island Way, Tower Hamlets. A 46-year-old man was charged with murder.
January 27: Kamil Malysz, 34, was found stabbed to death in a shared house in Acton, west London.
January 29: Nedim Bilgin, 17, was the victim of a knife attack in Caledonian Road, Islington, north London.
February 3: A 46-year-old man was found dead at a medical facility in Highgate, north London. A 21-year-old was charged with murder.
February 5: Lejean Richards, 19, was fatally stabbed in Battersea, south-west London.
February 10: A man, believed to be in his 30s, was found fatally stabbed in East Dulwich, south-east London.
February 18: Bright Akinleye dies after walking into a hotel reception in Camden, north London, with stab wounds.
February 19: Brian Wieland, 69, found dead with multiple head injuries at his home in Chingford, east London.
February 21: Glendon Spence, 23, was killed outside a youth club in Brixton, south London. Police have charged two 17-year-olds with murder.
February 22: Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck, 19, was murdered in Wood Green, Haringey. Police said that he and a another man, aged 20, were both found with stab wounds.
February 25: Spaniard David Lopez-Fernandez, 38, was pronounced dead after being found with stab wounds at an address in Globe Road in Tower Hamlets, east London. A 36-year-old man was charged with murder.
February 26: Che Morrison, 20, died after being stabbed to death outside Ilford station in east London.
March 1: Jodie Chesney, 17, was stabbed to death in an east London park.
March 2: A 50-year-old was found dead with fatal knife injuries at a property in Hendon, north-west London. A 54-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion murder.