Jodie Chesney, 17, was brutally stabbed to death in a park in Romford last night
A ‘happy’ 17-year-old girl scout was stabbed to death as she sat on a park bench with her boyfriend in east London becoming the 18th murder victim in the capital this year.
Witnesses heard screams of ‘help me’ after Jodie Chesney was knifed in the back while she sat with Eddie Coyle, 18, on a park bench near St Neot’s Road in Harold Hill, Romford at 9.25pm on Friday night.
Tonight her 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.
In an apparently random attack popular sixth former Ms Chesney was left with a blade embedded deeply in her back.
Ms Chesney’s boyfriend Eddie Coyle, 18, was described by his mother’s partner as ‘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.’
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, who 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.’
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.
Her grandmother Debbie has pleaded for the violence in London to end, saying: ‘There are too many young people in London having their lives cut short.’
She was an enthusiastic Scout Explorer who has visited Downing Street in November. posting on Instagram that it was ‘so much fun’ and ‘I’m basically famous now.’
Ms Chesney in her girl scouts uniform outside parliament, 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 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
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
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
Mrs Farenden – whose house faces the park – said: ‘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.’
Debbie Chesney, Jodie’s grandmother, said: ‘We don’t want anyone else to go through what our family is suffering right now’
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.’
The mother found the victim lying on her back in the corner of the park with her boyfriend beside her, who was also white.
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 the Mirror: ‘She was just the most happy person, she never stopped smiling.’
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.
‘She was white and she had long blonde or light brown hair and glasses.
‘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.”
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
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.’
The red brick terraced house faces onto the park where three forensics officers were photographing the area where the teen was knifed to death.
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.
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
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.’
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.
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.’