Harold Hill, United Kingdom
VIJAY SHAH via LAURA SHARMAN and CHARLOTTE NEAL/Mirror
A seventeen-year-old teenager was attacked and stabbed to death while sitting on a park bench with her boyfriend in the suburban town of Harold Hill, north-east of London, it was reported by the Mirror newspaper yesterday.
The girl, officially named by the newspaper as Jodie Chesney, was targeted in a random attack as she spent time at the Amy’s Play Site park in Harold Hill, Havering with her loved one. The stabbing was so brutal, that the knife snapped in two pieces, leaving the blade embedded in her body, the Mirror said.
Reports suggest that Chesney was set upon by two unidentified men while at the park late on Friday 1 March, 2019. The assailants were then chased off by two other park goers. The teenager was studying for her A-Level exams at nearby Havering Sixth Form College. In the aftermath of the attack, a cousin of the victim, also aged 17, formally identified her.
The cousin told the Mirror: “We are family, but I have not seen her properly in eight to 10 years.’
‘I was not that close to her. I found out this morning.
“She has a sister, Lucy; her dad, Peter, and her mum must be in bits.”
Two other park visitors, who witnessed the attack after hearing from a relative of one of them of screaming occurring in the park, also gave their accounts to the paper. Local parent Teresa Farenden ran to the open space with her friend Kelly Smith to try and help the stricken teenager.
Farenden told the Mirror: “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.”
The two women found Jodie Chesney lying on her back in severe pain with her shocked boyfriend by her side. They placed her in the recovery position and attempted CPR while paramedics made their way to the crime scene. However, Chesney passed away from her injuries at 10.26pm, the Mirror said.
Teresa Farenden added: “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.”
Farenden continued: “It just seems so random; it must’ve been horrific for her boyfriend and those other young people there to experience.
‘My son was playing his X-box but he turned the volume down because he heard a lot of screaming over there.
‘It must have been about 9.20pm; I was watching Vera on the telly before going into the kitchen.
‘It is just unreal – I think ‘God, it could have been my daughter.’”
Havering police are now increasing patrols in the area as the culprits are being searched for. People who were in the area at the time and saw anything are being encouraged to get in contact with local police. Acting Detective Chief Superintendent John Ross, of the Metropolitan Police’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.
‘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.
‘The victim was fatally stabbed at 9.25pm last night in a park in Harold Hill.
‘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.”
He added: “There will be additional police patrols in and around the Harold Hill area in the coming days, and anyone with any information should please speak with those officers.
‘Since the middle of last year, we have seen some reductions in knife crime – particularly in relation to people under the age of 25. However we are not complacent.
‘Bearing down on violent crime on the streets of London is a top priority for the Met, and I am clear that the people of Havering and communities across London have an absolutely vital role to play.
‘We need to hear from anyone who has information that could detect or prevent crime. Your information could take a knife off our streets or save a life.”
“Harold Hill stabbing: First picture of Jodie Chesney, 17, killed in park” – Laura Sharman & Charlotte Neal, Mirror/MGN Limited (2 March 2019) https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/breaking-harold-hill-stabbing-first-14077176?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=mirror_main&fbclid=IwAR2SKfGuMDYkahR7rBWD7Da-JFiUoyja1waO62KeOTEOIsmUUFm4_XN1qW0