A man has been charged with the murder of 17-year-old Jodie Chesney, who was stabbed in a park in east London.
Manuel Petrovic, 20, from Romford, was arrested in Leicester on Tuesday in connection with the incident, he appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court this morning.
Wearing a grey tracksuit, he spoke only to confirm his address, date of birth, and nationality of Croatian.
Petrovic is a short white man with sallow skin, short dark hair and dark stubble. He did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody to next appear at the Old Bailey on March 11.
Another man who was arrested on suspicion of murder in London on Friday remains in custody, Scotland Yard said.
Jodie was playing music with friends near a children’s playground at Harold Hill when she was knifed from behind in a seemingly motiveless attack on March 1.
Flowers laid for young stabbing victim Jodie Chesney
She was pronounced dead just over an hour after officers were called at about 9.25pm.
Tributes continued to be made today for the teenager, as ribbons were tied to a fence at a local park.
A post-mortem examination gave the cause of the Girl Scout’s death as trauma and haemorrhage.
Jodie’s father Peter Chesney described the teenager as a ‘proud geek’ and a ‘great girl’, adding: ‘The fibre of her being was just about being good, kind… there was nothing bad in her body.’
He said Jodie’s death had torn the family apart and said: ‘We don’t know how to deal with it.
Thousands of people march in memory of Jodie Chesney in Romford
‘Everyone is suffering because she was so good… everyone just can’t believe – why her? It is not one life deserves to be killed over another, but specifically her, she was so kind.’
Speaking at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court today Prosecutor Varinder Hayre said: ‘Mr Petrovic is charged with a very serious offence, the murder of Jodie Chesney.
‘The bail application will be heard at the Central Criminal Court by a Crown Court judge on March 11.’
Magistrate Nigel Bower said: ‘You have heard what’s gone on.
Theresa May to announce emergency plan to tackle knife crime epidemic
Theresa May is preparing to reveal a £50million emergency package to tackle the ongoing knife epidemic in the UK.
Chancellor Philip Hammond is said to have agreed to stump up the cash in order to fund the plan.
It was also reported by that Mr Hammond is preparing to release an immediate funding package worth ‘tens of millions’ to plug short-term gaps in police force budgets to meet the need for getting more officers out on the street.
The cash is set to be made available to overstretched police forces between now and April in order to fund overtime hours worked by officers – as they continue to tackle knife crime in cities across the UK.
From April forces should gain access to a fresh £970 million funding package that has already been announced.
This comes after Mr Hammond sparked outrage earlier this week by saying overstretched police forces re-prioritise their existing resources to ‘nip’ knife crime in the bud.
‘You are remanded in custody and are going to the Central Criminal Court on Monday.
‘You may go.’
Her death has added to the urgency for action to be taken to tackle knife crime across the UK.
On Thursday, people wore purple ribbons and carried purple balloons in memory of the teenager as they took part in march through Romford calling for an end to knife crime.
A murder investigation into Jodie’s death continues.
Anyone with information should call the Homicide and Major Crime Command Incident Room on , or call Crimestoppers anonymously on .
New figures released this week reveal how knife attacks have more than doubled over five years in some parts of the UK, as Britain’s streets are rife with bloody violence that has seen six teenagers stabbed to death in the space of a week.
Several counties, including Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire and Hertfordshire, recorded an increase of more than 100 per cent in crimes involving knives or sharp instruments from 2013 to 2018.
The figures come after 19-year-old woman was stabbed to death in Leeds, while two men were attacked with knives in separate incidents in Grimsby and Manchester.
The attack in Grimsby on Friday happened just hours before Theresa May gave a speech on Brexit at the Orsted offshore wind plant a mile-and-a-half down the road. West Midlands Police, which became the first force to issue emergency section 60 stop-and-search powers last week, has seen knife attacks rise 96 per cent, from 1,585 to 3,108.
Last Saturday, 17-year-old Yousef Makki died after a knife attack in the village of Hale Barns, Greater Manchester.
Spanish national David Martinez was stabbed to death after he was chased in Leyton, east London, on Wednesday.
In addition the body of French woman Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, was discovered in a shallow grave near her home in west London late on Wednesday night.
A total of 24 murder probes have now been launched in London this year, including 12 in the last 17 days.
Nineteen-year-old Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck was also fatally stabbed by a gang riding bikes in Wood Green, north London, last week.
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.
The spate of violence has sparked a renewed political focus on knife crime.
Prime Minister Theresa May has faced a backlash after saying there was no connection between surging violent crime and the cuts to police numbers which began when she was Home Secretary.
Source: Daily Mail