Jodie Chesney murder accused says he did not know her

A drug dealer who is charged with killing girl scout Jodie Chesney says he did not even know her or any of her friends, the Old Bailey has heard.

Manuel Petrovic, 20, is one of four youths jointly accused over the death of the popular 17-year-old in Amy’s Park in Harold Hill, east London, on March 1.

In giving evidence at the trial Petrovic said he did not even know she was going to the park that night and he had spent most of his day doing drug deals.

The scene in Amy's Park in Harold Hill, east London
The scene in Amy’s Park in Harold Hill, east London (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The jury was told that Ms Chesney and a group of friends were walking towards the park at about 6.50pm.

Defence lawyer Sarah Forshaw QC asked Petrovic: “Did you know anybody from Jodie Chesney’s group of friends?”

Petrovic replied: “No, I did not know any of them.”

Ms Forshaw asked: “Did you have any idea there was a group of people heading towards Amy’s Park at about 6.50pm?”

Petrovic said: “No I did not.”

Petrovic denies murder along with Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19, and two youths aged 16 and 17, of east London.

Ms Chesney was stabbed in the back while sitting with friends in the park.

Petrovic agreed he had been “all day dealing” when asked by Ms Forshaw about his actions throughout the day and into the early evening of March 1.

Jodie Chesney
Ms Chesney was sitting with friends in the park (Family Handout/PA)

He had gone to a cafe for lunch at around noon with two of his co-defendants. He was carrying a manbag with about £2,000 worth of drugs in it at that point, the court heard.

Petrovic said he started taking cannabis when he was 13 or 14 years old and then later moved into selling it. He said he had been a would-be footballer who might have been scouted by West Ham but the chance slipped by as he “got into trouble with drugs and was bunking from school”.

He is the youngest of five children of Croatian parents who split when he was about 14. He has lived all his life in the UK.

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