JODIE Chesney’s killers were negotiating a “substantial” £2,800 drug deal hours before she was knifed to death, a court heard today.
The 17-year-old Girl Scout had been playing music and smoking cannabis with friends near a playground at Harold Hill, Romford, on March 1 when she was knifed in the back.
The “blameless” sixth-former was fatally stabbed in the east London park after she got caught up in a “pathetic” drugs turf war, jurors were told.
Manuel Petrovic, 20, Svenson Ong-a-kwie, 19, and two youths, aged 16 and 17, who cannot be named for legal reasons, deny her murder.
Crispin Aylett, prosecuting, said the foursome did “quite a lot” of drug dealing in Harold Hill and there was a number of trips to the area on the day Jodie was stabbed.
He told the court Petrovic and Ong-a-kwie were in business together selling drugs.
Mr Aylett alleged the 16-year-old defendant acted as a “runner” for Petrovic and the 17-year-old defendant was helping Ong-a-kwie sell drugs on March 1.
The Old Bailey was told Petrovic received a text from a drug supplier offering to sell him G13 and Pineapple Kush – skunk-cannabis – “both of high quality, ten out of ten”.
Mr Aylett QC said Petrovic was asked for £2,800 payment but replied saying “£2,500 now”.
He added: “So we are dealing with quite a substantial quantity of drugs for quite a substantial amount of money.”
The court was told yesterday that drug dealer Ong-a-kwie’s phone had messaged 112 numbers on the morning of Jodie’s death.
Petrovic had a “drugs line” with up to 200 customers, it was claimed.
The 20-year-old was arrested after his car was linked to Jodie’s killing.
He told police he had been with a friend who picked up two other men and the four of them drove to Harold Hill, where two men got out.
He said the men “seemed calm” when they returned.
After dropping the two men off, Petrovic claimed a black male had pulled a knife to his throat and snatched his car keys.
He said: “The next day I heard that a girl had been stabbed in Harold Hill. I hoped it had nothing to do with why I was in the area with the two men.”
Petrovic said in a police interview he was “deeply saddened” by Jodie’s death.
But he added: “Due to my own safety and the safety of my family I will not be naming anyone I was with that evening.”
The court heard how Ong-a-kwie leapt out of a window on to a lean-to shed but crashed through it as he tried to escape from police.
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On the opening day of the trial, the court heard how Jodie’s boyfriend Eddie Coyle watched in horror as two suspects approached and, without saying anything, the taller of the pair swung a knife into her.
Mr Aylett described her murder in Harold Hill, East London, on March 1 this year as “the terrible but predictable consequence of an all too casual approach to the carrying and using of knives”.
Jodie collapsed from a deep-penetrating wound close to her spine following the 9.20pm attack.
She was pronounced dead an hour later at an Esso petrol station in Gants Hill.
Mr Aylett told the court how Jodie’s dad described his daughter as a “beautiful, well-liked, fun, young woman who judged no-one and loved everyone.”
The defendants, all allegedly involved in drug dealing, deny murder.
The trial continues.