Harold Hill stabbing – Jodie Chesney’s friends say attack could be ‘case of mistaken identity’ as family pay tribute

HEARTBROKEN relatives of stabbed teen Jodie Chesney visited the scene of her senseless killing yesterday — as pals said her murder must be a case of mistaken identity.

The 17-year-old’s devastated mum Claire Gillham was pictured yesterday being consoled by family members after leaving flowers at the murder scene.

Jodie Chesney
Jodie Chesney’s family visited the scene of her senseless killing — as pals said her murder ‘must be a case of mistaken identity’
Claire Gillam
Jodie’s mum Claire is seen laying flowers at the murder scene
Ray Collins – The Sun

She wiped tears from her eyes as she stared into the children’s play park where her daughter died in Harold Hill near Romford, Essex, on Friday night. Jodie’s boyfriend Eddie Coyle, who cradled her in his arms as she lay dying, later left his own emotional tribute.

A card attached to railings yards from where they spent their last moments together reads: “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.”

Last night pals of the bright A-level student said she was knifed in the back by a gang of unknown youths wearing balaclavas who “didn’t say a word” as they struck.

Jodie’s devastated schoolfriend Lucy Elkin said: “They were just sat there talking and joking, minding their own business. I don’t even think they were drinking.

We want her to be remembered as Jodie — not another knife victim statistic

“The men just walked up behind her and stabbed her in the back senselessly before running away.

“Not a word was said. Nobody knows who they are. They’re not from around here.

“It was completely unprovoked. Everyone is in pieces and can’t process what’s happened or why.”

Another friend said Jodie and Eddie were the “most normal kids ever” and a “world away” from gangs or knives.

They said: “There’s no chance of anything like that. Nothing. It’s not them. If anyone thought that then they made a big mistake.”

Jodie, who had recently joined fellow Girl Scouts on a trip to No 10, is said to have been stabbed so hard that the weapon snapped, leaving the blade lodged in her body.


Scout leader Anna Skipworth said: “We are devastated by her loss. She always had a smile on her face, supporting the younger members. She was funny, intelligent and had blossomed into an amazing young woman.”

Friends said Eddie “still hasn’t comprehended what happened” and was in such shock that he could not even cry during a vigil held by pals at the weekend.

But one pal said: “We want her to be remembered as Jodie — not another knife victim statistic.”

Jodie’s uncle Rev Dave Chesney, a vicar at an East London church, said the family were devastated over the “random and unprovoked attack on a beautiful and quirky young girl with her whole life in front of her”.

Jodie’s gran Debbie Chesney said: “This has to stop, there are too many young people having their lives cut short by needless violence.”

Police said Jodie’s attacker is described as black and in his late teens. No arrests have been made.

Grim 2019 death toll hits 21

The killings of Jodie Chesney and Yousef Makki mean there have been at least 21 fatal stabbings in Britain in 2019.

The youngest victim — Jaden Moodie — was just 14 when he was killed in East London in January

JAN 1: Tudor Simionov, 33, in Park Lane, Mayfair, London; Charlotte Huggins, 33, in Camberwell, South London
JAN 4: Lee Pomeroy, 51, on train near Horsley, Surrey
JAN 8: Jaden Moodie, 14, in Leyton, East London
JAN 27: Kamil Malysz, 34, in Acton, West London
JAN 29: Nedim Bilgin, 17, in Islington, North London; Lajean Richards, 19, in Battersea, South London
FEB 8: Aliny Mendes, 39, in Cheam, Surrey
FEB 10: Dennis Anderson, 39, in East Dulwich, South London
FEB 17: Mohammed Sidali, 16, in Highgate, Birmingham
FEB 18: Bright Akinleye, 22, in Euston, London
FEB 20: Abdullah Muhammad, 16, in Small Heath, Birmingham
FEB 21: Glendon Spence, 23, in Brixton, North London
FEB 23: Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck, 19, in Wood Green, North London; Phillip Rooney, 32, in Leigh, near Wigan
FEB 25: David Lopez- Fernandez, 38, in Bethnal Green, East London; Connor Brown, 18, in Sunderland; Hazrat Umar, 17, in Bordesley Green, Birmingham
MAR 1: Jodie Chesney, 17, in Romford, Essex
MAR 2: Yousef Ghaleb Makki, 17, in Hale Barns, Gtr Manchester; woman, 50, in Barnet, North London

A crime so senseless

By Julia Lopez, Tory MP for Harold Hill

THE murder of Jodie in my constituency was so senseless, so disproportionate, that it defies any understanding.

What does seem clear is that crime we may once have associated mainly with our inner cities is seeping into the capital’s further reaches.

We have won £172million extra for the Met this year and tried to focus on issues like school exclusions and family breakdown. We must show criminals the streets are in our control, not theirs.

Jodie Chesney
Jodie’s boyfriend Eddie who was with her when she died
Claire Gillam
Jodie’s mum is heartbroken by the loss of her daughter
Ray Collins – The Sun
Jodie Chesney
Jodie had recently visited No10 with the Girl Scouts
Jodie Chesney
Pals say Jodie Chesney’s murder must have been a case of mistaken identity


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