'Suffering' grandmother of 17-year-old Jodie Chesney, stabbed to death in London park, pleads for violence to end

Police forensic officers at the scene near St Neot's Road in Harold Hill. Credit: PA

The grandmother of a 17-year-old girl stabbed to death in an east London park has pleaded for the end of "needless violence".

Debbie Chesney said her youngest granddaughter Jodie Chesney was killed in an "unprovoked attack" at a children's play area in Harold Hill, Romford, on Friday night.

In a Facebook post, she said: "too many young people are having their lives cut short by needless violence".

She also appealed for members of the public with information to come forward, before adding: "We don't want anyone else to go through what our family is suffering right now.

"This has to stop, there are too many young people having their lives cut short by needless violence."

The teenager died at the scene on Friday evening. Credit: PA

Metropolitan Police were called to reports of a knife attack in Harold Hill, Romford, around 9.25pm on Friday.

Jodie Chesney was pronounced dead just over an hour later at the scene near St Neot's Road.

Scotland Yard said next of kin had been informed and an investigation launched.

No arrests have been made so far.

The death of the teenager means there have now been 18 murder in London this year alone.

One man said that his wife attempted giving the victim CPR. Credit: PA

A mother-of-three who tried to help the teenage girl in the park was "shocked by the amount of blood", her husband said.

Paul Farenden, 54, said his 49-year-old wife Teresa had rushed to the scene near their home to see if she could help after she heard screaming.

He added: "My wife asked if everything was alright and one of the boys said 'no, my girlfriend has been stabbed'.

"She put her in the recovery position and waited for the ambulance to turn up. I think she tried to resuscitate her.

"She thought it was all over then and it would be alright."

But Mr Farenden said they later heard the teenager had died.

Acting detective chief superintendent John Ross described Miss Chesney's death as a "tragedy".

"I want to express my deepest sympathies to this girl's family and friends. Her death is a tragedy," he said.

"I can reassure them and the whole community that we are doing everything possible to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted his anger at the "devastating" death.

He said: "It fills me with anger that violent criminals are targeting young Londoners with their whole lives before them. I encourage anyone with information to contact the police."

Police officers by floral tributes at the scene near St Neot's Road in Harold Hill, east London following the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old girl on Friday night. Credit: PA

Hairdresser Ellie Best, 17, said she and her family had moved from east London and the knife crime there for the "good strong community" life in Harold Hill.

A "shocked" Miss Best said: "No one should have to get a call to say that their child has been killed.

"It is becoming more and more like central London here. Children did not fight or anything and you did not hear of people being mugged. There has never been knife crime here before - it is just in the last six or seven months.

"I worry for the younger youths. Police need to talk to them about the dangers of carrying knives because the message is not getting through."

No arrests have been made so far. Credit: PA

Miss Best, who did not see what happened or know the victim, said: "I heard that local people in the area tried to help, but this really should not have happened."

She said the park is used by local children to "just hang out".

  • Police are urging anyone with information to contact the incident room on 020 8345 3775, tweet @MetCC or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.