The sister of murdered girl scout Jodie Chesney has said losing her sister is like ‘losing half of myself’.
Jodie, 17, was listening to music with friends in a park in east London when she was knifed in the back amid a ‘pathetic’ turf war between rival gangs.
Ahead of the sentencing of her two killers today, an emotional statement from Jodie’s Lucy Chesney, 20, was read to court.
She said: ‘Jodie was not only my sister she was my best friend. Losing her is like losing half of myself.
‘We went through everything together and she was always there for me and always putting everyone before herself. She gave me a type of love I will never feel again.’
She added: ‘Jodie will be greatly missed and the people who caused such tragedy to a whole family should hang their head in shame. You have ripped away a bright future that was destined to make a change to many lives.’
Jodie Chesney’s sister Lucy (pictured, centre, outside court) has given an emotional statement to court ahead of the girl scout’s killers sentencing today
Girl scout Jodie Chesney, who was murdered in an east London park in March this year. Her two killers were found guilty of murder today
Jodie with her big sister Lucy in earlier life. The family have given heartbreaking statements to court today
Jodie’s father Peter Chesney told how he had just got a job in the City as a salesman when his life was ‘destroyed’.
From being ready to ‘take on the world’ with a promising career, he was instead sitting in a cabin in his garden, writing a victim impact statement.
Mr Chesney said: ‘I have lost the most precious human being I will ever know. I have no idea how I’m going to continue my life or come to terms with the loss.
‘I have a fantastic daughter Lucy and we are leaning on each other throughout this tragedy.’
Jodie’s murder – a suspected case of mistaken identity – shocked the nation and led to renewed calls to tackle Britain’s knife crime epidemic.
Knifeman Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19, had wanted to ‘bang out’ a rival in revenge for stabbing him weeks earlier.
But in the gloom of the park in Harold Hill, east London, he lunged at Jodie and the blade went ‘almost right through her’.
Killer Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, pictured (left) in a social media photo and (right) on CCTV before the killing, is a drug dealer who is thought to have wanted to settle a score with a rival
Members of Jodie Chesney’s family arrive at the Old Bailey ahead of her killers’ sentencing
Ong-a-Kwie and his 17-year-old accomplice were unanimously found guilty of murder.
The killers were drug dealers, specialising in cannabis and cocaine, who sent hundreds of text messages advertising their wares every day.
Prosecutors said it was a case of mistaken identity and Jodie was a victim of the ‘casual violence’ all too regularly meted out by the young thugs who populate London’s cocaine gangs.
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told the jury in the trial: ‘The drug-dealing world is one of turf wars, rivalries and pathetic claims for ‘respect’.’
Ong-a-Kwie and the 17-year-old blamed each other for striking the fatal blow. But prosecutors proved the older dealer was planning to stab a rival after being knifed in the leg two months earlier.
The killers fled the scene in a Vauxhall Corsa driven by Manuel Petrovic, 20, on March 1 this year. Petrovic and a 16-year-old passenger, who also cannot be named, were cleared of murder and manslaughter.
Jodie, pictured with her dog and before her school prom in photos released by her family
Police at the park where Jodie was suddenly knifed by the drug dealer as she chatted to friends
A breakthrough in the investigation came when Croatian-born Petrovic was covertly recorded talking to a visitor while on remand at HMP Belmarsh in south-east London on August 3.
Using London slang, he revealed how the planned revenge attack had gone horribly wrong.
‘You know what actually happened?’ Petrovic asked his visitor. ‘They went to bang out [take out] on their ops [rivals] and banged out the wrong people.’
Asked how he knew, Petrovic said: ‘It was to do with Svenson’s op [rival] – they cheffed [stabbed] him up … a couple of months before.
‘Someone gave him [Ong-a-Kwie] the drop [tip-off]. He … thought it was them because they chill in the area. That’s why she got it from behind.’
Ong-a-Kwie also confessed to a friend that he had ‘done something really bad’ but refused to go into detail when asked about motive.