Girl, 17, killed in ‘random’ attack had ‘knife in back’

The teenager was stabbed to death in front of her boyfriend and friends in a children’s play area in east London

A teenage girl knifed to death in a “random attack” in a children’s play area has been described by heartbroken friends as “the most happy person” who “never stopped smiling”.

Friends say the victim – named locally as Jodie – “never had arguments or got into trouble” and was simply sitting in the park when she was fatally stabbed in the back.

It is understood the knife handle snapped and the blade was embedded in her body as the killers fled.

Describing her as “the nicest person”, her pals said she was studying psychology and sociology for her A levels.

An 18-year-old lad, who didn’t want to be named, said: “She was just such a nice person, she never even had arguments with anybody.

“She was just always there for anyone who needed her.”

A 17-year-old girl, weeping at the edge of Amy’s Play Site, in Havering, said: “She was just the most happy person, she never stopped smiling.

She was studying psychology and sociology, but I think she still didn’t know what she wanted to be when she was older.”

Another friend, a 17-year-old girl, added: “She never would have been in any trouble.”

A mum, whose son was among the mourners, said: “We have been told by police not to name, her but she was a lower sixth student taking her A-levels.

My son was friends with her.

“She died in the ambulance – she was going to be taken to Queen’s [hospital].

“There were four in the park – two of them chased the scumbags and two of them were trying to get help.”

She added: “I believe it was a random attack.

“They were just sitting there – they were having a Friday night giggle, as we have all done.

What do you do at 17? You just want to go out and be with your mates and not have your mum tell you to stop making so much noise.

“It is an inner city crime that is moving to outer London areas; it was never like this before.”

A laminated note left with purple flower tributes was dedicated to “Jodie” and read: “Jodie, we love you.

“You are so amazing. We will always remember you. HSFC.”

Another note with a drawing of a “piece of toast” read: “Jodie, I’m not the boy I used to be – I’m here, I’m queer get used to me WE’RE GAY.

Faye, Bryce, Forrest and Eddie. Banana pancakes.”

Devastated mourners have been seen laying flowers on the edges of the park, which remains cordoned off with red and blue tape while forensic officers examine the area.

Facing the park is a row of houses, where mum-of-three Teresa Farenden, 49, lives with her son, who heard screaming last night.

She ran from her house to try and save the young girl, who she understood was stabbed by two men.

As the girl lay dying people gathered to try and help her, including her boyfriend and paramedics who battled for her life for more than an hour.

She was pronounced dead at the scene at 10.26pm last night – just over an hour after police were called.

Teresa ran over in her flip flops after her son heard cries for help.

“The knife blade was still in her, but I didn’t see it because it was dark,” she said.

“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.”

She continued: “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.

“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.”

Teresa found the victim laying 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.

Teresa said: “People are scared to help, but all I was thinking with my mother’s instinct was ‘I need to help’.

“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.”

Medics battled to save her but she died at the scene.

Teresa said she was told by police that the blade, which she did not see, was still inside her and was removed at the scene.

“That is when I realised the blade was still inside her and they removed the blade,” she said.

“My heart is with the family how something so devastating like that could happen to a young girl.”

The brave resident said it is the first time in the 16 years she has lived by the park that “anything like this has happened” and said she “hopes it is also the last.”

The red brick terraced house faces onto the park where three forensics officers were photographing the area where the teen was knifed to death.

This morning the park remains cordoned off with red and blue tape, while a tent could be seen in the park.

Forensics were combing the scene and nearby bushes for evidence.

No arrests have been made and enquiries continue.