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Live Reporting

By Thomas Mackintosh

All times stated are UK

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  1. Evidence stops for the day and will resume tomorrow

    Mr Aylett finishes today by telling the jury he will explain tomorrow Manuel Petrovic's reaction when he found out his car was no longer in Elvet Avenue.

    We will continue to bring live updates when the case resumes tomorrow morning at 10:15.

  2. Vauxhall Corsa became 'focus' of murder probe

    Mr Aylett tells jurors Manuel Petrovic’s car remained abandoned in Elvet Avenue until police were made aware of it on the Saturday.

    "It was at around 16:00 on the Saturday afternoon that Andrei Mihai went to Romford police station to tell them about the black Vauxhall Corsa that he had seen in Retford Road.

    "Det Insp Perry Benton, who was in charge of the investigation, started looking for any incidents involving a black Vauxhall Corsa.

    "In due course, Mr Benton found a police report about the black Vauxhall Corsa in Elvet Avenue.

    "Mr Benton then checked the registration number against data collected by the ANPR system.

    "He found out that at 21:11 the Vauxhall Corsa with the registration number LN07 DYX had been picked up by an ANPR device on the eastbound carriageway of the A12 travelling away from Romford towards Harold Hill.

    "This would have been nine minutes or so before Jodie was stabbed.

    "From this point on, Manuel Petrovic’s black Vauxhall Corsa became the focus of the police investigation.

    "That same evening, police officers went to Elvet Avenue. By this time, the car had been moved further along to Kidman Close."

    The car was cordoned off with police tape and later that night the car was seized and removed to the police car pound in Greenford, west London.

  3. Resident filmed defendant's 'car keys being taken'

    Another witness, Richard Alexander, could see a black male standing by the driver’s door of the Vauxhall Corsa, the court has heard.

    Mr Aylett says he was shouting at a white male in a grey tracksuit - Mr Petrovic.

    "Mr Petrovic was stood by the basketball court some distance away. The black male was shouting at Petrovic, 'I’m going to get you'.

    "Mr Alexander noticed another black male in the front passenger seat of the car who appeared to be looking for something. The first black male shouted, 'Get the ting'.”

    Concerned by what was going on, Helen Galaga began filming the incident on her phone, Mr Aylett has said.

    The footage is being played to the jury where shouts of "Where’s the keys, bro?" can be heard.

    He can then be heard to say to the person with him, “Got the keys” at which point the two unknown males ran off.

    One of the teenage defendants can be heard to say, 'Hey! Come back!'"

  4. Witness describes hearing an argument between youths

    At the same location, Mr Aylett says a woman named Helen Galaga had been at home when she heard loud male voices coming from Elvet Avenue.

    "It was evident that some sort of argument was going on," Mr Aylett adds.

    "Out on the street, Mrs Galaga could see a stationary black car in the middle of the road. This was the black Vauxhall Corsa.

    "Mrs Galaga noticed a white male in a grey tracksuit (Manuel Petrovic) and a black youth (one of the teenage defendants).

    "There was another car nearby which Mrs Galaga thought was silver."

    The jury has heard that in all, there were about eight youths and some of them were going back and forth between the two cars.

    "As to what was being said," Mr Aylett adds, "Mrs Galaga could hear: 'Where’s the food' (which the prosecution suggest was a reference to drugs); 'Where’s the ting?'; 'Don’t lie'.

    "Mrs Galaga says that all the doors of the Vauxhall Corsa had been opened and so was the boot. It was clear that the car was being searched."

  5. Vauxhall Corsa spotted in 'potential drug deal'

    After a brief mid-afternoon break, the jury has returned and Mr Aylett is continuing his case telling the court about the incident at Gidea Park.

    He adds: "A woman named Kay Connelly had been returning to her home near Elvet Avenue, Gidea Park.

    "There is a small car park on one side of Elvet Avenue; next to it, there is a small basketball court. Residents tend to refer to the car park as the "basketball car park".

    "Ms Connelly went to park her car in the basketball car park. As she pulled into the car park, Ms Connelly noticed a black Vauxhall Corsa that was parked near the entrance."

    Mr Aylett says it is the prosecution's case that this car belonged to Manuel Petrovic.

    "Ms Connelly says that the males seemed to know each other and there was nothing to suggest that there was any tension between them," Mr Aylett adds.

    He says Ms Connelly saw them "fist-bumping one another" and believed "some sort of drug deal" had taken place.

    "Ms Connelly says that the black Vauxhall Corsa was then driven out of the car park in a way that Ms Connelly has described as erratic.

    "She says that the driver of the Vauxhall Corsa was a white male, about 5ft 10inches tall.

    "The prosecution suggest that this was Manuel Petrovic."

  6. Petrovic 'bought the car two days before the killing'

    Manuel Petrovic, 20, on right: Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19. Behind: Two defendants aged 16 and 17 who cannot be identified due to their age.
    Image caption: (l to r) Manuel Petrovic, 20, and Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19. Behind: Two defendants,16 and 17, who cannot be identified due to their age.

    On Wednesday 27 February, Manuel Petrovic, had bought a black Vauxhall Corsa at a car auction for £1,000.

    Mr Aylett adds: "On 1 March, and no more than two hours after the murder of Jodie Chesney in Harold Hill, the first defendant and one of the teenage boys were involved in a curious incident in Gidea Park, no more than a couple of miles away from Harold Hill.

    "It ended with Mr Petrovic being forced to abandon his new car after someone stole the keys from the ignition.

    "It is not entirely clear what happened but it looks as though Mr Petrovic and the boy had gone to Gidea Park to sell drugs.

    "It may be that they were ambushed by their ‘customers’ – who then stole their drugs. In any event, what is clear is that their mobile telephones were stolen and the key to the Vauxhall Corsa was taken."

    Mr Aylett adds that the car was stuck in the middle of the road and local residents had had to call the police.

    He adds: "On the face of it, other than to say that the first and second defendants appear simply to have carried on dealing in drugs, this does not appear to have had anything to do with the murder of Jodie Chesney.

    "On the other hand, once Andrei Mihai had told the police about the black Vauxhall Corsa that he had seen in Retford Road, the detectives who were investigating the murder of Jodie had become very interested in black Vauxhall Corsas.

    "Let me tell you about the incident in Gidea Park."

  7. More details about witness who spotted stationary car

    Mr Aylett has started to go back over an earlier point he made in his opening speech about Andrei Mihai - who saw the stationary car near to the park where Jodie was stabbed.

    He says: "Mr Mihai says that the driver of the car was a white male who was looking right at him.

    "Mr Mihai says that, after about five seconds, he noticed two other males coming out of the darkness.

    "One of them went to the passenger side of the car - and Mr Mihai could not see whether he got into the front or the back of the car - the other ran around the back of the car and got into the seat behind the driver.

    "No sooner had the pair got into the back of the car than it drove off towards the junction with St Neot’s Road.

    "As Mr Mihai drove off, he could hear the sound of screaming coming from the park."

  8. Doctors tried emergency surgery in petrol station forecourt

    Jurors have heard the ambulance set off for the hospital but London's Air Ambulance had already set off for Harold Hill.

    Mr Aylett adds: "It was decided that the doctors in the car should meet the ambulance half-way. The rendezvous was at an Esso Garage in Gants Hill.

    "It was there, on the forecourt of a petrol station, that Dr Hudgell and his team opened up Jodie’s chest in an attempt to get her heart beating again.

    "Despite the best efforts of all concerned, there had been no cardiac activity for some time.

    "There was nothing more that could be done. Jodie was pronounced dead at 22:26."

  9. How quickly did the emergency services respond?

    Inside Royal London Hospital

    The first call to emergency services was made at 21:22 GMT and two police officers were on the scene within 13 minutes.

    PC Raeside felt for a pulse but there was nothing so he began chest compressions, the court has heard.

    Mr Aylett adds: "After he had been doing this for a minute or so, an ambulance turned up and the paramedics took over.

    "A paramedic, David Elliott, collected a trolley bed. Jodie was then placed on the trolley and taken to the ambulance.

    "It was decided that Jodie needed a resuscitative thoracotomy (the opening up of the chest) and a blood transfusion. The paramedics rang ahead to the the Queen’s Hospital in Romford to alert them but there was no-one available to perform such an operation.

    "It was decided to take Jodie instead to the Royal London Hospital on Whitechapel Road."

  10. Boyfriend held Jodie's hand as she lay dying

    Jodie's boyfriend Eddie Coyle was on the telephone to the emergency services, the court has heard.

    "Mrs Ferenden now took the telephone from him and explained to the operator what had happened," Mr Aylett has said.

    "Kelly Smith is a friend of Teresa Ferenden’s daughter. Ms Smith had also come out into the park.

    "Kelly knelt down beside Jodie and tried to comfort her. She kept telling Jodie to stay awake.

    "Meanwhile, James Doyle’s step-father, David Poyser, had got into his van and driven over to the park.

    "When he got to the park, Mr. Poyser could see Jodie lying on the ground with two women trying to help her.

    "Mr Poyser says that Jodie’s boyfriend was holding her hand and crying. Mr Poyser struggled to find a pulse in her neck. He took his own jacket off and placed it under Jodie’s head; he used Jodie’s jacket to apply pressure to her back.

    "Kelly Smith says that it was as the first police car was pulling up that she heard Jodie take her last breath. Jodie had then groaned. Ms Smith called out to the police officers who were running towards the playground, 'she’s gone'."

  11. Local resident ran out to help save Jodie

    A woman named Teresa Ferenden, who lives on Retford Road, went outside to help the injured Jodie, the court has heard.

    "Mrs Ferenden had been at home when her son told her that he could hear people in the park shouting for help," Mr Aylett says.

    "She grabbed her coat and went outside. She called out, “Is everything ok?” A voice in the distance replied, “No. My girlfriend has been stabbed.”

    When Mrs Ferenden reached Jodie, she sent one of Jodie’s friends to fetch some towels from her house, jurors have been told,

    "She placed Jodie in the recovery position," Mr Aylett adds. "As she did so, Mrs Ferenden could see an awful lot of blood."

  12. Jodie's boyfriend 'caught her after she was stabbed'

    Jurors have heard that neither of the youths said anything to Jodie or her friends.

    Mr Aylett adds: "Several of Jodie’s friends had not even noticed the two males who had come into the park and stabbed Jodie.

    "Jodie fell from the table that she had been sitting on. Eddie caught Jodie as she fell and eased her to the ground. He realised immediately that she had been stabbed.

    "Using her mobile telephone as a torch, a friend could see a stab wound not far from Jodie’s spine.

    "Jodie was already bleeding heavily. Eddie was crying and screaming at Jodie to try and keep her awake.

    "Jodie, you may think, could not have had the slightest idea of what had happened, still less, why."

  13. Jodie's friend heard a 'horrible slashing' sound

    Crime scene

    Prosecutor Mr Aylett has now described the moment Jodie was fatally stabbed.

    He tells jurors that her boyfriend Eddie Coyle noticed two males at the Retford Road side entrance to the park.

    He adds: "One of them was taller than the other. The taller one came through the gate, the shorter one jumped over the fence.

    "Eddie says that the taller male was a dark-skinned black male with wide nostrils; the second youth had kept his head down and Eddie was not able to tell the colour of his skin.

    "He says that the taller youth came up behind Jodie and swung his right arm downwards towards Jodie. Eddie could see something black in his hand. At this time, the shorter male was standing alongside the taller one.

    "Another one of Jodie’s friends says that she heard a “slashing” sound – which she described as 'horrible'."

    Mr Aylett tells jurors that Jodie could be heard screaming in pain and the two youths ran off towards Retford Road.

  14. One of Jodie's friends 'bought some cannabis'

    On that Friday night, Jodie and her friends were sitting at the first bench table, closest to Retford Road in Harold Hill, the court has heard.

    "They were talking and listening to music," Mr Aylett says. "While they were there, one of Jodie’s friends, Bryce Henderson, bought some cannabis from a local drug dealer named Jade.

    "Jodie and her friends remained in the park for some time.

    "While Jodie and her friends were sitting at the bench table closest to Retford Road, they were aware of two males who were sitting not far away at the other table.

    "The two youths, who were both black, remained in the park for over half-an-hour.

    "One of Jodie's friends has said that, every few minutes, the two youths would look in their direction – but nothing was said between them. Jodie and her friends did not pay any particular attention to them."

    Mr Aylett says the prosecution does not suggest any of the four defendants could have been either of these two youths.

    "As we shall see," he continues. "At around the time these two youths were in the park, sometime either side of 20:30 GMT, each of the four defendants can be shown to have been elsewhere.

    "All the same, the police do not know who those two youths were.

    "It may well be that they had nothing whatsoever to do with what was to happen later.

    "On the other hand, in a murder investigation that has attracted a considerable amount of publicity, neither of them has come forward to assist the police, if only to eliminate themselves from the inquiry."

  15. What happened in the lead up to Jodie's murder?

    Amy's play park

    Jurors have been hearing more details about what happened on the day Jodie Chesney was fatally stabbed.

    Mr Aylett adds: "She went as usual to Havering Sixth Form College. Jodie left college at about 14:00 GMT and went home to walk her dog.

    "Later that afternoon, Jodie met up with her boyfriend, Eddie Coyle.

    "The pair of them went to Romford railway station where they had arranged to meet some of their friends - this was the group that would catch the bus to go on together to the park in Harold Hill.

    The jury is now being shown on a map the location to where Jodie and her friends went that night.

    "The park is on St. Neot’s Road in Harold Hill," Mr Aylett says. "Officially, the park is known as St. Neot’s Road Play Park - however locally, the park is known as Amy’s Park.

    "Amy, it seems, was a lady who had lived in a house nearby and was kind to the local children.

    "The park is in a fairly secluded spot. Within the park, there is a small playground.

    "It had become an ideal place for Jodie and her friends to chat, listen to music and to smoke cannabis."

  16. 'Family find the maps, pictures and details upsetting'

    Dan Johnson

    BBC News

    The family of Jodie Chesney, present at the back of the courtroom, are studying the maps and pictures which have been included in a jury bundle.

    Clearly they are finding the details upsetting.

  17. Trial resumes with more details about Jodie Chesney

    Jodie Chesney

    The trial has resumed after lunch and Mr Aylett has started to tell the court more about Jodie Chesney saying she was born on 18 June, 2001.

    He adds: "Jodie’s parents separated when she was young. She was brought up by her father Peter and her step-mother Joanne.

    "She lived in Dagenham with her father, step-mother and her elder sister Lucy.

    "Jodie’s father has said that she loved her studies and that she never missed a lesson.

    "As I have said, Jodie was a Scout. She had also been only a few weeks away from completing the Duke of Edinburgh gold award.

    "In the same year at Havering Sixth Form College and a few months older than Jodie was a student named Eddie Coyle.

    "Eddie is 18 years old. The pair of them started going out on 1 December 2018. They were, then, together for three months."

  18. Trial resumes

    After a slightly longer lunch break, the 14 jurors are now back in court and the trial is resuming.

  19. Watch: What happened in court this morning?

    Video content

    Video caption: Dan Johnson sums up what happened at the Jodie Chesney trial this morning

    BBC reporter Dan Johnson gives a summary of this morning's proceedings from the Old Bailey.

  20. The trial has stopped for lunch

    The court has broken off for lunch and will resume at 14:15 BST.