String of arrests as police investigate fatal stabbings of two teenagers

Police investigating the fatal stabbings of two 17-year-olds have made a string of arrests.

Scotland Yard on Friday said that a second male had been arrested on suspicion of murdering teenager Jodie Chesney.

She was stabbed in the back as she socialised with friends in a park in Harold Hill, east London.

Stabbing victim Jodie Chesney
Stabbing victim Jodie Chesney (Met Police/PA)

Officers also arrested three males – aged 15, 17 and 18 – on suspicion of murdering the second teenager in West Kensington, in the west of the capital.

The victim was named locally as Ayub Hassan, with a family friend paying tribute to him as a “kind and handsome” boy with ambitions of becoming a barrister.

Jodie was in the park when she was approached by two males and knifed from behind in what police called a “savage, evil attack” at about 9.25pm on March 1.

Harold Hill fatal stabbing
People march through Romford town centre in memory of Jodie Chesney (Victoria Jones/PA)

Scotland Yard gave no age for the male who is in custody after being arrested in London on Friday morning.

A 20-year-old man arrested in Leicester on Tuesday evening remains in custody on suspicion of her murder, police said.

Ayub was found with stab injuries to the chest in Lanfrey Place on Thursday afternoon.

Fatal stabbing in Kensington
Family friend Amina Osman lays flowers near the scene in Lanfrey Place (Isabel Infantes/PA)

After laying flowers at the scene, family friend Amina Osman said: “He had ambitions, he was looking forward to being a barrister. He was looking forward to being a grown-up man.

“He was good with his words, he was very kind and handsome.”

But she said the fatal attack was “the fourth attempt on his life”, having previously been found unconscious in a park, run over and had been stabbed on another occasion.

Community support worker Ms Osman said the boy’s mother Siraad collapsed with shock when she heard of his death.

Fatal stabbing in Kensington
Scene of the stabbing in West Kensington (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The three suspects remained in custody after being arrested on Thursday, the Met said.

Jodie was playing music with five other teenagers in the park when they became aware of two males who left at around 9pm without interacting with them, police said.

About 30 minutes later, the pair returned and one stabbed the girl scout in the back without saying a word, officers added.

Young victims of homicide in 2019 (as of March 7)
(PA Graphics)

The latest stabbings will add to growing urgency for action to be taken to tackle knife crime across the UK.

Police have called for a reverse in the cuts to the number of officers under austerity measures, but Chancellor Philip Hammond on Thursday told forces to refocus their existing resources.

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