Jodie Chesney: Police issue description of girl’s killer and her final moments

Jodie Chesney, a popular Girl Scout, was stabbed Harold Hill in Havering, east London on Friday night, Met Police said

Tragic murder victim Jodie Chesney was playing music and socialising with friends in the park moments before she was senselessly killed, police said tonight.

The 17-year-old was stabbed at around 9.30pm on Friday in a park Harold Hill, Havering, east London.

The student was having fun with four other teenagers when the killer and an accomplice struck.

She died as a result of a single stab wound to the back, it has been confirmed.

“Jodie’s group were aware of two males in the park who left at around 9pm without interacting with Jodie or her friends. Around 30 minutes later the pair returned to the park and walked straight towards the group, where one of the males stabbed Jodie once in the back,” a Met Police spokesman said tonight.

Officers described the suspect who attacked Jodie as a black male aged in his late teens.

There is no further description of him at this stage, nor is there any description of the other male.

The detective leading the investigation, DCI Dave Whellams, said: “I am appealing for any witnesses who have yet to speak with police to call me. There has been excellent support from the local community and a number of people have shared information with police, but there will be other witnesses and people with information that may prove crucial.

“Although the description of the suspect is limited, I am certain that people will have seen the two males hanging around the park or running away from the scene – or will otherwise have noticed something suspicious. I need those people to call me.”

At this early stage, there have been no arrests and enquiries continue.

Anyone with information should call the HMCC Incident Room on 020 8345 3775, Tweet @MetCC or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Speaking in Havering the day after the murder, Acting Detective Chief Superintendent John Ross of the East Area Command Unit said: “Yesterday a 17-year-old girl lost her life, and I want to express my deepest sympathies to (Jodie’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.

“It is days like these that really do highlight how we must continue to work tirelessly with our partners and the public to tackle knife crime.

“I am urging any witnesses, anyone who saw anything suspicious or anyone with information about the incident to contact police and share what they know.”

Devastated friends of the Girl Scout called her “the most happy person”.

One sobbing girl 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.”

An 18-year-old lad added: “She was just such a nice person, she never even had arguments with anybody.”

And Jodie’s mum Claire Gillham was today pictured paying her respects to the teenager.

Her heartbroken uncle Dave Chesney said: “This was a totally random and unprovoked attack on a beautiful, lovely and quirky young girl with her whole life in front of her.”

Flowers at the cordon had the message: “We love you forever in our hearts.”

Another note attached to a floral tribute said: “You are so strong. We will always remember you.”

Posting on Facebook on Saturday, Jodie’s grandmother Debbie Chesney said too many young people were having their lives “cut short by needless violence”.