Murdered teenager’s family back calls for tougher knife crime jail terms

The family of murdered teenager Jodie Chesney have backed calls for tougher sentences for knife crime.

Relative Karen Chesney appealed on Facebook for support for a petition calling for a 10-year jail term for knife possession and 25 years for using a knife.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Parliament petition had been signed more than 33,000 times. A total of 100,000 signatures are required before a petition can be considered for debate by MPs.

Jodie, 17, was with friends near a children’s playground on Harold Hill, east London, when she was approached by two males and knifed in the back in a seemingly motiveless attack.

Harold Hill fatal stabbing
Flowers near to the scene in St Neot’s Road where 17-year-old Jodie was stabbed to death on Friday night (PA)

The current maximum jail term for an adult caught carrying a knife is four years in prison and an unlimited fine. Only those caught with a knife more than once are handed prison sentences.

Police in the local area appealed for calm and asked anyone with pictures of the suspected killer not to post them on social media.

An entry posted on the Met Police Twitter accounts for Redbridge, Havering and Barking & Dagenham said: “The investigation team into this tragedy are appealing for calm at this time, they are working tirelessly into finding the offender(s) who have committed this crime.

— Barking & Dagenham Police (@MPSBarkDag) March 5, 2019

“The investigation team are requesting that people do not speculate as to who may have been involved and ask that all information is given to officers in the correct way by either calling the incident room on 020 8345 3775 or contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

“Please do not post images of those you may believe committed the crime on social media.”

Jodie was pronounced dead just over an hour after police were called to the park at 9.25pm on Friday evening.

Her suspected killer is a black man in his late teens.