Mayfair

England, United Kingdom

Latest Stories

Families of violent crime victims get support, but what about the witnesses?
Families of violent crime victims get support, but what about the witnesses?

Jury reminded not to discuss case

The jury are warned by the judge not to discuss the case.

She says: “It’s a very upsetting case but don’t worry about it. Leave it here ( in the courtroom) and have a good weekend.”

Bryce Henderson's cross-examination ends

The witness is stepping down now and his cross-examination is over.

Today's proceedings have now ended for the day and will resume at 10:15 on Monday.

Witness did not see men approach before attack

Mr Henderson is now being questioned by another defendant’s QC, Charlie Sherrard.

Mr Henderson tells him that he never had any issues with Spencer.

He says he did not know if the two men in the park who sat on the bench for a while were the same two who carried out the attack on Jodie later.

He adds he did not see them approach the group before the attack.

Bryce Henderson denies buying drugs from Manuel Petrovic

Asked by Sarah Foreshawe QC, defending Mr Petrovic, if he had ever bought drugs from Manuel Petrovic, Mr Henderson says he didn’t know that name.

He adds he would normally buy drugs from "Jade".

Ms Foreshaw QC also asks Mr Henderson if anybody had called for more drugs. He says no, “nobody had any money for it”.

Tall man in grey hoodie

Mr Henderson says: “It was the grey hoodie who was turning around as the pair left the park. From that point I was just looking at Jodie.”

He adds they both looked male. One was taller. One was about 5ft 4in to 5ft 8in and the other 6ft 5in.

The taller one was in the grey hoodie, Mr Henderson tells the court.

'I saw Jodie and she looked shocked'

Bryce Henderson admits to the jury that cannabis "was in their systems", but insists everybody was "fully aware" of their surroundings.

"We were not impaired," he adds.

He then describes the moment the two males came into the park and Jodie was stabbed.

"I saw Jodie, she looked shocked. Then Ed turned and shouted 'she's been stabbed'.

"When I heard the noise I saw briefly two figures, that was about it."

Another drug supplier "Jade" provided cannabis

Bryce Henderson had hoped to buy a new strain of cannabis called "Pineapple Express" or skunk, from his regular dealer Spencer, the jury was told.

He called Spencer to try to buy some on the 9481 mobile number which went unanswered.

After another attempt to reach Spencer he hung up, the court heard.

Mr Henderson then got a message from another friend called Kane saying Spencer had had a crash and gone to hospital.

Mr Henderson told the court he decided to call another drug supplier named Jade to buy some cannabis.

He waited for Jade near the park and a Blue Mercedes pulled up, Mr Henderson said he did the deal in the back of the car with one of her "shotters" (runner who delivers drugs).

He then went to meet Jodie's group who were in the play area at about 19:41.

The group, now of seven people, smoked roughly 1.3 grams, about three joints, according to Mr Henderson.

Friend finishes evidence - next up Bryce Henderson

The friend has now finished giving evidence and has left the courtroom.

Crispin Aylett QC has now called 18-year-old Bryce Henderson, who has taken the oath and is now facing questions from the prosecutor.

'Do you know any reason why anyone would hurt Jodie?'

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC finishes his examination by asking if the teenager knew "of any reason why anyone would want to hurt Jodie?"

She replies: "No."

Sarah Forshaw QC - representing Manuel Petrovic - is the only defence barrister to ask any questions in cross-examination.

"There was a couple of seconds of quiet between songs," she asks. "Do I take it quite loud rock music started up again?

"Yes," the teenager replies.

Miss Forshaw asks: "Did they say anything at all to your group?"

"No," she says.

'Jodie started to breathe really heavily'

There are around 30 people up in the public gallery now, listening to the teenager continue to give her evidence.

The witness said she was sat next to Jodie in the park - with Jodie and Bryce Henderson either side of her - before the 17-year-old was stabbed.

The teenager said there was a brief break in between songs and she could "hear people coming up from behind her".

"I heard this horrible sound from where Jodie was sitting," she adds. "I thought they might be taking our bags or something.

"When it happened Jodie started to breathe really heavily and that's when she started to scream.

"Bryce said 'has she been stabbed?' everyone else stood up and looked at what was happening.

She fell unconscious a few seconds later. I looked around and saw the two of them run."

Friend said two men sat on bench near group

Giving evidence, Jodie's friend confirmed to Mr Aylett that she had seen two men arrive and sit on the next bench table

She said she only saw one man more clearly "as they were sat opposite each other".

She described the one she could see as dark-skinned, aged about 18-20. She couldn't say what height he was.

He wore a black puffer jacket with a "brown-blondie" fur hood, the witness said.

They were in the park "maybe half hour" she said.

It was dark now in the park and she said she saw the pair leave through the main park entrance back towards St Neots Road.

Second witness called to give evidence

Jodie with her dog
Family handout

Eddie Coyle has finished giving his evidence and has left the courtroom.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC has now called the second witness.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has told jurors that after leaving college on 1 March Jodie went home to walk her dog.

Mr Aylett mentions some CCTV footage of the group of friends walking towards the park in the Harold Hill area of Romford in east London.

Prosecution confirms witness's descriptions of men

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC is now going over the apparent inconsistencies in Eddie Coyle's description of the two men in the park as raised by members of the defence teams.

He is tryng to ascertain who was wearing the white puffer jacket and what the shorter man was wearing.

It appears both men were wearing dark coloured jackets but one had a white coloured hoodie underneath.

Asked how confident he was to what people were wearing, Mr Coyle said he was but "wasn't really paying attention".

However, he said he was "very confident" about the heights of the two men.

That completes the evidence of Mr Coyle who has been told he is free to go.

Eddie Coyle 'certain' of the man who stabbed Jodie

crime scene
PA Media

Natasha Wong QC - who is representing one of the teenage boys - is now questionning Eddie Coyle about the two men in the park.

She asks the 18-year-old again about the statement he gave to police on the night of Jodie's killing.

"Which one stabbed Jodie?" asks Ms Wong. "The taller black man?"

"Yes," says Mr Coyle who reaffirms he is certain of that.

Boyfriend quizzed over descriptions of men in park

Mr Sherrard is again checking Mr Coyle's description of the two men sat on a bench next to the group in the park.

The witness again confirmed the colour of the jacket that the shorter of the two was wearing was white. In his police statemnet he said it was black.

Mr Sherrard said "Do you think it's possible that seeing the first two people for that length of time has influenced your recollection" of the other two males who entered the park later.

The witness said: "Yes".

The taller person was described by Mr Coyle as black.

Mr Coyle said light from torches on their phones meant he could see the colour of the taller man, who was wearing all black clothing and a face covering from his nose down.

He confirmed the shorter man was dressed similarly with a face covering but was wearing a white puffer jacket with a fur trim, with a light grey jumper underneath.

Witness cross-examination resumes

The court is sitting again following a break for lunch.

Witness Eddie Coyle, Jodie's boyfriend, will resume giving evidence.

Witness pressed on his recollection of events

Just before lunch, Mr Sherrard QC pressed Mr Coyle further on the two people who came into the park earlier and sat on the bench next to the group.

Mr Coyle agreed they had been there for about half an hour or more.

At the time of his police statement he told police the taller man was wearing a black puffer jacket.

But earlier in court today he said the jacket was white.

The witness was asked by Mr Sherrard whether there might be any "confusion" due to any alcohol or weed taken that night, the sheer shock of what happened or indeed the effect of the group trying to piece events together.

"Do you think there is any confusion in what people looked like and were wearing," asked Mr Sherrard.

"No," said Mr Coyle.

"In part due to weed and alcohol?"

"No", replied Mr Doyle.

Asked again if the first male was taller, and wearing a white puffer jacket, Mr Coyle replied "Yes."

Climate protest: 'This is more important than a maths lesson'
Children's activist Fatima Ibrahim explain why they're taking part in a global climate strike day.

Court breaks for lunch

The jury has left Court 8 to go and get some lunch.

We'll do the same and be back for more live updates at 14:00 where Eddie Coyle will continue to give his evidence.

Eddie Coyle aware of attempted drug deals in Amy's Park

Eddie Coyle
PA Media

Mr Coyle tells jurors that any drug deals involving cannabis would not happen inside the park, but on the outskirts.

Mr Sherrard asks if Bryce Henderson was the one in the group of friends "who would normally share the stuff around?"

"Yes," Mr Coyle replies. "He'd buy and we'd sometimes chip in to give him the money."

The 18-year-old adds that Bryce had been part of the group of friends for around a year.

Mr Coyle says he was aware of someone called 'Spencer' as the person Bryce was trying to get cannabis from.

Mr Sherrard asks: "Were you aware that he tried another supplier?"

"Yes," Mr Coyle replies.

"Are you familiar with the name Jade?"

Mr Coyle says yes, again.

Prosecution examination finished - defence questions next

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC has finished his first round of questions.

Manuel Petrovic's defence barrister, Sarah Forshaw QC, has asked a couple of questions and now Charlie Sherrard QC - representing Svenson Ong-a-Kwie - has started his cross-examination.

'Can you think of any reason why anyone would hurt Jodie?

Mr Aylett has started to ask Mr Coyle about the appearance of the men who ran into Amy's Park.

Refering to the "taller man", Mr Coyle adds: "He had quite large nostrils.

"He was wearing all black.

"Black jogging bottoms. Black puffer jacket and a hood slightly wrapped around his face."

Mr Aylett then finishes his questions by asking about the type of person Jodie was.

"She was a great person," Mr Coyle responds, smiling, "Very funny - sensible sometimes!"

Mr Aylett then asks: "Can you think of any reason why anyone would hurt her?

"No," Mr Coyle replies.

Amy's play park
PA Media

Waiting for ambulance 'felt like an eternity'

Describing the emergency service response, Mr Coyle says the police arrived first and then the paramedics.

"It must have been about 15 minutes," Mr Coyle says.

Mr Aylett asks: "That must have felt like an eternity?"

"Yes," Mr Coyle replies.

He then tells jurors Jodie was put on a stretcher and taken away in the ambulance, adding that he was then taken to Ilford police station.

'Jodie was screaming continuously for two minutes'

After being stabbed in the back, Mr Coyle tells jurors that Jodie started to scream and had no idea what had happened.

"I thought they were going to punch her," he says.

"She was in shock at first. She didn't know what happened, she just started screaming. Continuously, very loudly for two minutes.

"Then she fell faint and fell off the bench. I was trying to catch Jodie.

"I put her on the floor, she was wearing a thick jacket and we didn't know how bad the wound was.

"But, there was a lot of blood. After I cried out for help for three or four minutes, two neighbours came out."

'The taller man swung out his arm and stabbed Jodie'

crime scene
PA Media

Mr Coyle has started to talk about the moments before Jodie was stabbed, as the friends sat smoking, drinking and socialising in the park.

"I was standing in front of her.

"I saw two men walk towards us from the side entrance. I couldn't really hear them.

"They were about 5m away and still on the grass.

"They got close to the gate, both of them started running.

"One hopped the fence towards us, I think the other one went through the gate. The taller one hopped the gate, the shorter one went through it.

"The taller one and the shorter one both came right up behind Jodie.

"The taller one swung his arm out and stabbed Jodie in the back."

Mr Coyle has stood up in the dock, gesturing the movement the stabber made when attacking Jodie.

Eddie Coyle describes a group in the park

One of their friends, Bryce Henderson, was able to get hold of some cannabis so the group could "smoke a joint," Mr Coyle has said.

He adds: "The area is not well lit, we usually put our phones on for some light."

Mr Coyle says "two men came into the park" about an hour after the group of friends arrived but there was no exchanges between them.

"They sat on the benches behind us," Mr Coyle says, "About five feet away.

"I did not recognise them, I could tell what they were wearing.

"One was wearing a white puffer jacket, the other was dressed all in black.

"They were late teens or early 20s.

Mr Coyle said the atmosphere was "tense" having strangers behind them.

'We went to chill out at the park'

Eddie Coyle
PA Media

Mr Coyle has told jurors he met Jodie Chesney at Havering Sixth Form College and that the pair had been going out for around three months before she was killed.

The 18-year-old has been outlining the movements he, Jodie and their friends took on 1 March.

He said: "We met at Romford railway station at about 17:00 or 18:00. We took the 174 bus straight to St Neots Road.

"We were going to sit down, chill out, listen to music, have a couple of fags."

Mr Aylett asks: "Have you done that in the past?"

Mr Coyle responds: "Yes."

Eddie Coyle in the witness box

Eddie Coyle is seated in the witness box, has taken the oath and is now facing the first set of questions by prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC.

'Improving' hospital trust needs to focus on emergency care

Local Democracy Reporting Service

St Helier Hospital
Google

The trust which runs St Helier Hospital in Sutton has improved in the eyes of inspectors but the hospital’s emergency department is still rated ‘requires improvement’.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust as ‘Good’ overall following an inspection in May.

Previously it was rated as ‘Requires Improvement’.

Inspectors found that although there was progress in most areas, the emergency departments at both Epsom General and St Helier hospitals remained as ‘Requires Improvement’.

But deputy chief inspector of hospitals, Dr Nigel Acheson, said there were examples of outstanding practice in the trust’s maternity service.

He said: “I was particularly impressed with the standard of maternity care at the trust, which had received a prestigious award."

But inspectors found in many areas, the environment was not appropriate for the services with old and unsuitable buildings.

The CQC says these four points need to be addressed urgently:

  • Ensuring there are suitable, safe environments for children and young people presenting with mental ill health to be assessed in the emergency department.
  • Ensuring there are systems for identifying risks to children and young people in the emergency department at St Helier Hospital.
  • Adequate staffing across surgical units at St Helier Hospital to provide safe delivery of care to patients.
  • Better management of medicines.

Chief executive Daniel Elkeles said: ““We recognise that there are some areas that need further development, and we would like to assure our patients and local communities that we are already working on that, and in fact, have already made some of the suggested improvements.

“That said, this is a very positive inspection report and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 6,000 staff of Epsom and St Helier for working so hard, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week – you are all my heroes.”

Press bench packed

This case is generating much media interest and the press bench is now full.

The jury and defendants are about to re-enter the courtroom.

The public gallery is also well attended with members of Jodie's family there including her father.

Why do some witnesses give evidence behind a screen?

Danny Shaw

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent

During court hearings, some witnesses are allowed by the judge to give their evidence without being present in court or without being seen by everyone in court.

In such cases, 'special measures' are introduced which might involve a witness testifying from behind a screen so only the judge, jurors and barristers can see them, or by video-link from somewhere outside the courtroom.

The central purpose of 'special measures' is to make it less stressful for witnesses to give their evidence.

The measures can be applied to witnesses for either side - the prosecution and the defence - and the kind of cases in which they can be used are set out in guidance by the Crown Prosecution Service.

They include trials in which people allege they have witnessed serious violence or been the victim of a sexual offence.

Those who are assessed as 'vulnerable' - if they're under 18, have a mental health problem or disability - may also be permitted to testify from behind a screen or by video-link.

A variety of other types of 'special measures' are also available, such as hearing evidence without the public being present - but this is applied less often.

Jodie Chesney's boyfriend Eddie Coyle arrives at court

Eddie Coyle, who was dating the 17-year-old at the time of her death, is due to give evidence at the Old Bailey.

Mr Coyle, 18, will be giving his evidence from behind a screen.

Two defendants 'accept they went into the park'

Crime scene
PA Media

They jury has been shown some more CCTV, this time from the Retford Road area, near to the location where Jodie was stabbed.

Mr Aylett said this CCTV has been examined and enhanced by an expert in imagery analysis, Ashley Windsor.

Mr Windsor says the two figures who appear to be going into the park are "consistent" with them being Svenson Ong-a-Kwie and one of the teenage boys.

"In the event," Mr Aylett says, "It seems that Mr Windsor is right.

"On behalf of both Svenson Ong-a-Kwie and the boy, it is accepted that they were the two who went into the park."

Defendants 'part of a joint plan to cause serious harm'

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC is coming to the end of his opening speech and has recapped a few of his earlier points to the jury.

He says: "At the outset I made it clear that the prosecution allege that all four defendants were part of a joint plan to cause at least really serious bodily harm to someone - not necessarily Jodie - in that park.

"If the prosecution are right about that, then it matters not which of them actually stabbed Jodie nor who the second male in the park was.

"Nonetheless, I said that I would come back to such evidence as there is on these issues.

"The starting-point is to say that the prosecution accept that, in Retford Road, the first defendant was at all times behind the wheel of the Vauxhall Corsa."

Jury told details about clothing worn by defendants

On the day that Manuel Petrovic was arrested in Leicester, police officers went to his father’s house in Leicester, Mr Aylett has told jurors.

"There they seized a grey Puma tracksuit that appears to be what Petrovic had been wearing on the night of Friday 1 March."

Police also recovered a pair of "Adidas tracksuit trousers" from one of the teenage defendants.

The only other item of clothing seized was the woollen hat worn by the other teenage defendant - this was shown as an exhibit to the jury on Wednesday.

Map of Leicester
BBC

Svenson Ong-a-Kwie 'got rid of clothes' from night before

Jurors have been shown CCTV footage of Svenson Ong-a-Kwie coming and going from the hostel he was living at.

Mr Aylett adds: "He was no longer wearing the parka-style jacket with the fur-lined hood.

"Instead, he was wearing a light grey jumper with dark stripes and a pair of blue tracksuit trousers that appear to be several sizes too short in the leg.

"This would suggest that Ong-a-Kwie had got rid of the clothes that he had been wearing the night before - and it is certainly the case that the jacket with the fur-lined hood has not been recovered - and that he had borrowed a pair of trousers from someone shorter than him.

"Of note, however, is the fact that Ong-a-Kwie is still wearing a pair of grey Nike Air Max trainers.

"Film from a CCTV camera inside the hostel shows Ong-a-Kwie going to his room and then coming out again - no doubt, to pay the mini-cab driver - in a pair of slippers."

When Ong-a-Kwie comes out again a few minutes later, he has swapped his slippers for a pair of black trainers and he had a drawstring bag with him.

"He was carrying a yellow JD Sports bag that contained something that was similar in size to a pair of trainers," Mr Aylett said.

"Ong-a-Kwie walked off in the direction of Mashiters Hill. When he came back, ten minutes later, he came from the direction of Collier Row Lane and he no longer had the bag with him."

Police go to Manuel Petrovic's home over 'abandoned car'

Mr Aylett has just made reference to Mr Petrovic's car which was found abandoned in Elvet Avenue on the night Jodie was stabbed.

Two police officers went to Mr Petrovic's address as they wanted to speak with the owner of the car.

"There was a note attached to the front door," Mr Aylett says. “'Please don’t knock. Ring this number'.

"No doubt, this was to deter people disturbing Mr Petrovic’s mother at all hours of the night.

"Ignoring the note, PC Livermore knocked on the door. Mr Petrovic’s mother, Kata Miskova, came to the window and said that her son was out. She said that she did not know when he would be back.

"It is, of course, perfectly possible that Mrs Miskova had not heard her son coming home."

Svenson Ong-a-Kwie 'booked a cab'

Manuel Petrovic and Svenson Ong a Kwie
Julia Quenzler

About an hour after Jodie had been stabbed, Svenson Ong-a-Kwie booked a taxi for him and one of the teenage boys, jurors have been told.

"The mini-cab driver was Adam Tekkol," Mr Aylett says.

"At first, Mr. Tekkol could not remember anything about the fare.

"However, having thought about it, he was then able to tell the police that there had been two passengers.

"They had both got into the back of his cab and they had both been very quiet."

Manuel Petrovic and the other teenage boy made their way to Gidea Park, Mr Aylett added.

Prosecution continues with opening

Everyone is back in place in Court 8, there are around 20 people in the public gallery this morning.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC started this morning by thanking the jury for bearing with him while listening "to one voice" all week.

He picks up from his opening making reference to when the defendants separated after Jodie Chesney had been stabbed in the park on 1 March.

What has happened so far in the trial?

Manuel Petrovic and Svenson Ong-a-Kwie in the Old Bailey
Julia Quenzler

On Monday a panel of 18 jurors were selected and this was whittled down to 14 by the time the prosecution opened the case on Tuesday.

The 12 jurors - plus two 'spares' - heard details from prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC about the night Jodie Chesney was stabbed in the park in the Harold Hill area of Romford in east London.

The 17-year-old girl was caught up in a dispute between drug dealers, according to Mr Aylett who added there was "nothing to suggest that Jodie was involved in the supply of drugs or that she might have upset anyone".

Amy's Park
PA Media

On Wednesday the jury heard more details about the arrests of the four defendants - Manuel Petrovic, Svenson Ong-a-Kwie and two teenage boys who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Yesterday, Mr Aylett spoke about the night of Jodie's murder and said her friends had received a text from Mr-Ong-a-Kwie's "drug phone" advertising a new strain of cannabis known as "Pineapple Express".

Bryce Henderson, 18, would contact Mr Ong-a-Kwie to buy some of this cannabis to be delivered to 'Amy's Park', Mr Aylett said.

However, there was no answer from the "drugs line", and they decided to buy from another dealer.

Flowers by Amy's play site
PA Media

Welcome

We are back in the Old Bailey for the fourth day of the Jodie Chesney murder trial.

Yesterday, jurors were told about drugs being delivered to St Neots Road Play Park, known locally as 'Amy's Park', where the 17-year-old was fatally stabbed on 1 March.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC is expected to finish his opening speech.

Then Mr Aylett will start to call witnesses in the prosecution's case.

The first witness is Eddie Coyle - Jodie's 18-year-old boyfriend.