A teenager killed in a park while with her friends and boyfriend was stabbed to death on her father’s birthday, it has emerged. Jodie Chesney, 17, posted a final picture to Instagram of her and her dad with a ‘Happy Birthday’ message to him just hours before she was killed.
Her boyfriend Eddie Coyle cradled her in his arms as she lay dying after being stabbed in the back in an apparent random attack in an East London park on Friday night.
Jodie had been sitting on a bench with her boyfriend before the attack, when she was reportedly hit so hard the knife snapped and part of it was ‘still in her back’ when people rushed in to help. Witnesses said the group responsible were wearing balaclavas.
No arrests have been made. Mum-of-three Teresa Farenden, 49, ran to the park to try and save Jodie after her son heard her screams. Teresa said: ‘It just seems so random; it must’ve been horrific for her boyfriend and those other young people there to experience.’ She described how she had ‘no idea’ she was coming out to a murder scene as she ran towards the victim, who was lying on the ground with her boyfriend by her side.
She said: ‘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 could hear her breathing.’
Teresa and her pal put Jodie in recovery position and administered CPR. She added: ‘The boyfriend did everything he could. When I came over she was on her back so I moved her onto her side.’ The teen, who was studying for her A-levels at Havering Sixth Form College, died in the ambulance as it took her to hospital after the attack in Harold Hill near Romford at around 9.25pm on Friday.
Before she met up with her friends, Jodie shared a selfie of her and her dad and captioned it: ‘Happy birthday dad :)’. Her family have since appealed for witnesses to come forward with information about the attack.
Posting on Facebook on Saturday, Jodie’s grandmother Debbie Chesney said too many young people were having their lives ‘cut short by needless violence’. She added: ‘This was our youngest granddaughter. ‘How have we come to this point where kids can’t have a walk in a park without suffering an unprovoked attack? ‘If anyone knows anything about this please contact the police with information.
‘We don’t want anyone else to go through what our family is suffering right now. ‘This has to stop, there are too many young people having their lives cut short by needless violence.’
Jodie’s death brings the number of homicides in London this year so far to 18. Acting Detective Chief Superintendent John Ross, of the East Area Command Unit, said: ‘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.’ Neighbours said young people often ‘hang out’ in the park, and if they are too loud they are usually moved on without any trouble. Hairdresser Ellie Best, 17, said she and her family had moved to the area for the ‘good strong community’ life in Harold Hill. She said people there had been left ‘shocked’ by the killing.
‘No-one should have to get a call to say that their child has been killed,’ Ellie said. ‘It is becoming more and more like central London here. Children did not fight or anything and you did not hear of people being mugged. There has never been knife crime here before – it is just in the last six or seven months.
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