Two teenagers have been jailed for life for murdering a 17-year-old girl in an east London park.
Jodie Chesney was stabbed in the back as she sat with friends in Harold Hill on 1 March.
Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19, and Arron Isaacs, 17, of Barking, were both convicted earlier this month after a trial at the Old Bailey.
Ong-a-Kwie, of Romford, will serve a minimum of 26 years while Isaacs was detained for at least 18 years.
Explaining the sentences, Judge Wendy Joseph QC told the court she was “satisfied” Ong-a-Kwie had stabbed Jodie while Isaacs was a “willing supporter”.
“When that knife was driven into Jodie, that intention was to kill,” she said.
She added that her death “was part of a series of tit-for-tat attacks” which had been “increasing in ferocity”, and “although the target was not Jodie… there was a degree of planning”.
During the trial, each of the defendants blamed each other for the attack but a jury took less than six hours to find them both guilty of murder.
In an impact statement read before sentencing, Jodie’s father Peter Chesney said the death of his daughter “has destroyed my life”.
The 39-year-old, who was not in court, described how a year ago he had started a new job as a salesman in the City “and I was about to take over the world in a promising career.
“Now I sit here in the cabin in my garden writing this statement. I have left that job, the relationship with my wife has fallen apart and we are now getting divorced. I must sell my house, and above all, I have lost the most precious human being I will ever know,” he said.
Following the stabbing, Jodie collapsed into the arms of her boyfriend Eddie Coyle who told the court he had been “completely changed” by the events of that night.
“I find it hard to sleep most of the time. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD from this, and it keeps me up most nights so I don’t sleep,” he said.
The court had heard drug dealer Ong-a-Kwie and his runner Isaacs had been looking to take revenge on rivals but had killed Jodie by mistake.
She had been socialising with friends that evening when two figures emerged out of the dark and one plunged a knife in her back.
The two defendants fled in another drug dealer’s car but were arrested together days later as they fled from a house linked to Isaacs, the jury were told.
Ong-a-Kwie had convictions for possessing and supplying drugs and had admitted being in breach of a six-week suspended sentence for handling stolen jewellery.
Two other people – Manuel Petrovic, 20, of Romford, and a 16-year-old boy – were both cleared of murder and manslaughter.
Met Police officer Det Insp Perry Benton described the investigation as “one of the hardest I’ve ever dealt with”, adding that the defendants “have shown no remorse from day one”.
Speaking following the sentencing, Jodie’s uncle Terry Chesney said the family were “happy” with the jail terms and would now “try” to get on with their lives.
“Today was justice. We’ll never get her back, but we’ve got justice,” he said.
The Green Party has stood down its candidate to help Labour try to unseat former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.
Mr Duncan Smith has been MP for Chingford and Woodford Green since 1997, and has a majority of 2,348.
The Green Party, Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru formed an electoral pact earlier this month. Supporting Labour in Chingford does not form part of that pact, the Greens said.
The Conservatives have been contacted for comment.
In a statement the local Green Party said the decision for John Tyne not to contest the election was made with the “ultimate hope of favouring the campaign of the Labour candidate” Faiza Shaheen.
A Green Party spokesperson it “was a decision taken by the local party”.
However, they added: “If Labour were serious in their concern for the environment they should reconsider their isolationist position on arrangements.”
Ms Shaheen, head of the Centre for Labour and Social Studies, said she was “so grateful” for the decision.
She said: “I will continue to fight hard for climate policy and democratic reform.”
The Liberal Democrats have selected Dr Geoffrey Seeff as their prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
Mr Duncan Smith has been MP for the area since 1992, representing Chingford until 1997 when the boundaries were re-drawn to include Woodford Green.
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Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is back in the squad for Tuesday’s Champions League Group H game with Ajax.
Kante, 28, has made just five starts in an injury-hit season, most recently suffering a groin problem.
“We’ve been able to get some work into him, he’s in the squad and he’s available,” said manager Frank Lampard.
Midfielder Ross Barkley (ankle) and defender Andreas Christensen (thigh) are also in training after injury lay-offs last month.
Victory at Stamford Bridge would see Chelsea go three points clear of Ajax in Group H and put them in a strong position to progress to the quarter-finals, with games against Valencia and Lille remaining.
“I said at the start that this group would be tight because all the teams could take points off each other. That has been proved to be correct,” said Lampard.
“After losing the opening game against Valencia, which was disappointing, we have shown a great reaction from that.
“I have to accept it’s expected of Chelsea to go through and that is no disrespect to any other teams. I have said already how hard the group is but it is more about our own expectations.
“That is maybe why we had that reaction. We wanted to prove ourselves, we wanted to go to Ajax and Lille and get results, and we did.
“But we won’t get carried away with ourselves in this group.”
Can Chelsea maintain 100% record against Dutch sides? – the stats
- Ajax have never lost an away Champions League match in England (W1 D3 L0), winning most recently away at Spurs in April 2019. Their last away European Cup defeat on English soil was in April 1980, a 2-0 semi-final defeat against Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest side.
- Chelsea have a 100%-win record in Champions League matches against Dutch opponents, beating Feyenoord twice in the 1999-2000 season and Ajax this season.
- Ajax have won their last five away Champions League matches – prior to this run, the Dutch side had won just four of their previous 38 away games in the competition (W4 D13 L21).
- Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has managed more away UEFA Champions League games without losing than any other manager (seven games), winning five and drawing two. Only two managers have lost none of their first eight away games in the competition – Louis van Gaal (first 14 games) and Pep Guardiola (first 11 games).
- Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi has scored one goal every 47 minutes for the Blues in the Champions League (3 goals in 141 minutes) – the best minutes per goal ratio of any Chelsea player in the competition.
- Dusan Tadic has been directly involved in eight of Ajax’s last 14 goals scored in the group stage of the Champions League (five goals, three assists), including six of their last seven away from home (three goals, three assists).
Former Labour MP Luciana Berger is to fight the seat of Finchley and Golders Green in north London for the Liberal Democrats at the next election.
She has chosen not to contest her current seat, Liverpool Wavertree, which she has represented since 2010.
Ms Berger quit Labour in February, blaming a culture of anti-Semitism in the party and personal attacks on her.
The Lib Dems came third in the London seat in 2017, but hope to do better due to their Brexit opposition.
The Jewish MP was a founding member of the Change UK party which launched in the run-up to the European Parliament elections in May.
However, she quit the party after its poor performance and joined the Lib Dems earlier this month.
In a letter addressed to her Liverpool Wavertree constituents posted on Twitter, Ms Berger says she made the decision with her husband, with whom she has two children.
“Balancing personal and and professional responsibilities is complicated for everyone,” she writes.
“As a family, we have had to make a decision about how best to navigate work and raising our young children.”
She adds they had decided to move to London after the next general election “after a great deal of thought”.
In a statement, Liverpool Wavertree Lib Dems said they regretted her decision to contest a different seat but “understood the reasons for doing so”.
Richard Kemp, who leads the Liberal Democrat group on Liverpool Council, said Ms Berger had been subject to “appalling anti-Semitism and gender bullying” during her time representing Labour in the constituency.
She has spoken of receiving thousands of anti-Semitic taunts online, as well as death threats.
An internet troll who sent anti-Semitic messages to Ms Berger and other victims was jailed for more than two years in 2017.
Liverpool Wavertree has been regarded as a safe Labour seat since boundary changes in the 1990s. The Lib Dems came third with less than three 3,000 votes in 2017.
In contrast, Finchley and Golders Green is a marginal seat which has fluctuated between the Conservatives and Labour since it was created in 1997.
According to the UK Polling Report, the constituency has the largest Jewish population of any seat in the UK, with more than 20% of residents describing themselves as Jewish in the 2011 census. It is also a heavily pro-Remain constituency.
The Lib Dems had selected Clareine Enderby to contest the seat.
Under different boundaries, the constituency of Finchley was represented by former Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher for more than 30 years between 1959 and 1992.
Conservative Mike Freer retained the new seat with a 1,657 majority in 2017, an election in which the Liberal Democrats received only 3,463 votes.
Ms Berger’s move follows that of her fellow Lib Dem Chuka Umunna, who has decided to fight the seat of the Cities of London and Westminster, rather than Streatham in south London, whose MP he has been since 2010.
The family of British teenager Nora Quoirin, whose body has been found in Malaysia, have said their “hearts are broken”.
Nora, who had special needs, was found just over a mile away from the Dusun resort on Tuesday.
The 15-year-old Londoner had been on holiday with her family when she disappeared from her room on 4 August.
In a statement, her family thanked the 350 people who had been hunting for Nora in dense jungle near the resort.
They added: “Nora has brought people together, especially from France, Ireland, Britain and Malaysia, united in their love and support for her and her family.
“She has truly touched the whole world.
“The cruelty of her being taken away is unbearable. Our hearts are broken.”
Her cause of death has not yet been confirmed and Malaysian police said a post-mortem examination was under way.
Police said the teenager’s parents confirmed the body discovered by a search team was their daughter.
Malaysia’s deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor said Nora, who was of Irish-French descent, was found beside a stream in a “quite hilly” area of plantation, and was “not in any clothing”.
Authorities have been treating her disappearance as a missing persons case, but her family have said they believe she may have been abducted.
Nora was born with holoprosencephaly, a disorder which affects brain development, and her family said she was “not independent and does not go anywhere alone”.
On Monday, her parents Meabh and Sebastien, a French-Irish couple who have lived in London for 20 years, put up a 50,000 Malaysian ringgit (£10,000) reward for help to find her.
Nora, her parents and her younger brother and sister arrived at the resort in a nature reserve near Seremban, about 39 miles south of Kuala Lumpur, on 3 August for a two-week stay.
Nora Quoirin disappearance: Timeline
3 August: The Quoirins arrive at the Dusun forest eco-resort
4 August: Nora disappears from her room
5 August: The Lucie Blackman Trust says Malaysian police are treating Nora’s disappearance as a potential abduction, but officers deny any foul play is involved
6 August: Nora’s family say they believe she has been abducted
11 August: Malaysian police set up a hotline dedicated to receiving information about teenager
12 August: A reward of £10,000 – donated by an anonymous Belfast business – is made available for information leading to Nora’s safe return
13 August: A body is found in the search for Nora