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Live Reporting

By Thomas Mackintosh and Chirag Trivedi

All times stated are UK

  1. Trial finishes for the day

    The trial has now finished for the day and will resume at the Old Bailey tomorrow morning.

  2. Jury back in

    The jury is back in the court, but Sarah Forshaw QC has stood up to raise concerns about a 115 page document of text messages between Manuel Petrovic and the 16-year-old boy.

    Mr Petrovic says he "should be able to explain it. I'll know what's what."

    In the meantime there are now around a dozen people in the public gallery watching the last of today's proceedings.

  3. Mid-afternoon break

    Before Louise Sweet QC continues her cross examination - which she hopes to complete by the end of the afternoon - the jury has been sent away for a mid-afternoon break.

    Judge Wendy Joseph says she is aware of "traffic issues" around the City of London.

    The trial will resume at 16:10.

  4. 'We took them to the scene of the murder'

    Louise Sweet QC makes reference to to Mr Petrovic seeing the the article on the Romford Recorder about Jodie's murder the day after she was killed.

    The defendant said the news of the stabbing was so shocking he decided to wake up his friend and the teenage defendant.

    "I said to them, 'we took them there'," he said. "I showed it to the teenage boy as he knows the area better."

    Mrs Sweet then starts to talk about the meeting in the alleyway with Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, where the 19-year-old handed the teenage boy his phone.

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  5. Manuel Petrovic travelled with teen boy on night of stabbing

    Louise Sweet QC is now taking Manuel Petrovic through telephone records of communications between the 20-year-old and Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, on the day Jodie Chesney was stabbed to death

    Mr Petrovic is also shown CCTV footage showing him driving to his home in Romford at about 21:01 GMT.

    He says the reason "he went back to base" was to pick up his mum's phone and some more drugs.

    Miss Sweet asks Mr Petrovic if he had a conversation with the teenage boy.

    "You told him that you are going to have to give Svenson a lift," she said.

    "I don't remember saying that," he replies.

    "He told me that Svenson wanted a lift to go meet a customer but he told me he wanted some drugs.

    "It was not out of the ordinary for us two to be in the car while giving Svenson a lift."

  6. Teen boy friendship 'became real' in 2019

    Manuel Petrovic said he has spent the last six years or so drug dealing in the east London areas of Romford and Collier Row.

    He said the 16-year-old boy would, "help me out when I was stressing out."

    "He didn't like to see me stressed."

    Mrs Sweet said the friendship with the 16-year-old "became real" at the beginning of this year.

    She then asks about Mr Petrovic's links with Svenson Ong-a-Kwie.

    "Maybe three or four years ago when Svenson used to purchase cannabis off me," he said.

    "There came a good point where we did not associate for two or three years."

    But Mr Petrovic accepted the pair "struck up a business partnership" around drug dealing.

    He adds that the 16-year-old boy did not introduce Mr Petrovic and Mr Ong-a-Kwie together.

  7. 'No intentions for the teen boy to sell drugs for me'

    Manuel Petrovic

    Manuel Petrovic said he and the teenage boy would regularly meet up in a cafe and the 20-year-old would buy him food and at times "free cannabis" for working for him.

    "I did look after him like a little brother," Mr Petrovic said.

    He accepted that "things were quite tight at home" for the teenage defendant and when he was drug dealing the 16-year-old would be a "hindrance" because he looked so young.

    "There were no intentions for him to be selling drugs for me," Mr Petrovic said.

    Mrs Sweet takes the jury through the process of Mr Petrovic and the teenager's relationship with drug dealing.

    She explains Mr Petrovic takes the initial call on the drug line and then organises the sale.

    He then supplies the drugs to the teenage boy who then gives the drugs to the customer and then the money back to Mr Petrovic.

  8. Cross examination of Manuel Petrovic begins

    Sarah Forshaw QC has finished her examination of Manuel Petrovic.

    Now, Louise Sweet QC - who represents the 16-year-old boy - will cross examine Mr Petrovic.

    She begins by saying Mr Petrovic knew the 16-year-old through his older brother and drug dealing.

    "You told jurors you became more of a friend to him because he became a bit like a brother," Mrs Sweet said to which Mr Petrovic agreed.

    Mr Petrovic said he drove really fast because he "fancied himself as a racing driver".

    "I did not really know much about his dad," he said. "Whether he was involved in his life or not."

  9. 'I was glad I got arrested for Jodie Chesney's murder'

    crime scene

    In the transcript, Sarah Forshaw QC reads an extract where Manuel Petrovic said he was "slightly shocked" to be arrested in Leicester - but asked "why he was glad".

    "From when I thought back to what had happened on 1 March," he told the court.

    "I was paranoid that I had brought them a change of clothes. I knew I had played a part in something I had no knowledge.

    "So it wasn't a surprise they were going to arrest me for that.

    "I half had knowledge I was going to get arrested for something that happened on 1 March.

    "I am innocent, but I am glad I got arrested as I am not invited. I ain't got nothing to hide so there's no point me acting like I've got something to hide."

    Mr Petrovic adds that he spent the inital week in Pentonville Prison in north London before being moved to Belmarsh Prison.

    Miss Forshaw QC finishes her examination by asking Mr Petrovic if he was "in any way involved" with the killing of Jodie Chesney.

    "No," he replies.

  10. 'I don't see why anyone would stab an innocent girl'

    Drone shot of Amy's Park

    Miss Forshaw continues to read from the covert prison recording, pointing out Manuel Petrovic said Svenson Ong-a-Kwie and the 17-year-old "went to bang out on their ops [rivals]".

    Mr Petrovic told jurors he had no truth in this but became more suspicious of Mr Ong-a-Kwie's movements on 1 March.

    He added: "When I got the paper of evidence from my solicitor and I went to the cell data.

    "I saw that they were already in Harold Hill at the time. So if he wanted to pick up drugs in the Harold Hill area he wouldn't need a lift. So this was an obvious lie to me."

    Mr Petrovic said he was aware Mr Ong-a-Kwie had been stabbed in some shops near to Amy's Park in the Harold Hill area of east London in October 2018.


    "He never mentioned it to me," Mr Petrovic said.

    "I was trying to tell Gemma Gray that someone had stabbed him a couple of months ago, so he had gone there [Amy's Park] to stab them but stabbed the wrong person."

    Miss Forshaw asks: "Did he ever tell you he stabbed someone by mistake?

    "No," he replies and Mr Petrovic is then asked why he has this opinion Jodie was the wrong target.

    The 20-year-old added: "Reading the witness statements, I saw that she was stabbed from behind - I don't see why anyone would want to stab an innocent, 17-year-old girl."

  11. Svenson Ong-a-Kwie was 'moved to Woodhill Prison'

    Manuel Petrovic and Svenson Ong-a-Kwie were both initially remanded to Belmarsh Prison in south-east London, after being arrested and charged with Jodie Chesney's murder in March.

    But, Sarah Forshaw QC said by August, Mr Ong-a-Kwie was moved to Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes.

    "The two other youths were remanded to Feltham Young Offenders Institute, and have never been to Belmarsh," Miss Forshaw added.

    She then tells jurors that Mr Petrovic had an injury to his foot, which he said he hurt it "by dropping a kettle on his foot while in his sliders".

  12. Trial resumes after lunch

    Old Bailey

    The 12 jurors are now back in their jury box after having a slightly longer lunch break.

    Manuel Petrovic is back in the witness box, while the three other defendants Svenson Ong-a-Kwie and two boys who cannot be named for legal reasons, remain in the dock.

    Sarah Forshaw QC is finishing her examination of Mr Petrovic before the other defence barristers have an opportunity to cross-examine the 20-year-old.

  13. Court breaks for lunch

    The jury is being given a slightly longer lunch break and will sit again at 14:30.

    Just before the jury left the court, Manuel Petrovic told them he did not want to give the names of Svenson Ong-a-Kwie or the 17-year-old boy to the police while he was being interviewed by police.

    The 20-year-old said he chose to do this as he was worried about "the safety of my family".

    He also admitted that he "drives dangerously when he deals drugs".

    Mr Petrovic has returned to the dock and the trial will resume later this afternoon.

  14. 'I was attacked in prison'

    While on remand in Belmarsh Prison, Manuel Petrovic said he had "some bother".

    "I had a couple of people jump me when I had just come on the wing [of Belmarsh prison]," the defendant said.

    "There were people I was associating with, one of them tried closing the door.

    "Two of them tried jumping me. Tried punching me a couple of times, kicked me. One hit me with a tin and it cut my face.

    "When I was at lunch one of the officers grabbed me and they glued the cut on my face."

    During that conversation with Gemma and Nicky Gray, Mr Petrovic said he was told that the 17-year-old boy had been "re-nicked" and became the fourth person to be charged with murder.

  15. 'People look at me like I am a scumbag'

    Manuel Petrovic and Sarah Forshaw QC

    Manuel Petrovic has told jurors again that he left school with no qualifications and started dealing drugs from his younger teenage years.

    "Being a drug dealer is what made me get through life," Mr Petrovic said.

    "The life that was coming with it, I could do what I want. The money was coming easy and I could spend it easy.

    "I could wake up on a certain morning and make as much money as the phones would ring. I didn't have hours to work. I could go on holiday if I want. I could do what I want.

    "I wanted to go legit to be honest, if I wasn't dealing drugs I wouldn't be in this position. I wouldn't be charged with murder.

    "Everyone is looking at me like I'm a scumbag but I ain't done anything. All these people on the inside or on the outside.

    "On the media, it's a high-profile case so it is not a good look.

    "People look at me like I'm a wrongun. Like I'm involved in murdering an innocent, 17-year-old girl."

  16. 'I am not guilty of murder but I am guilty of being a drug dealer'

    Sarah Forshaw QC asks Manuel Petrovic why he is telling the jury this now.

    "I am innocent," Mr Petrovic replies. "But I am charged with murder."

    Miss Forshaw then makes reference to a covert recording of a visit Mr Petrovic had from Gemma and Nicky Gray on 24 May in Belmarsh Prison.

    He said he was getting teased for having a receding hairline - like his older brother.

    Miss Forshaw asks Mr Petrovic if he is guilty of Jodie's murder.

    "I am not guilty of murder," the 20-year-old replies. "But, I am guilty of being a drug dealer and conspiring to sell drugs."

    Miss Forshaw reads out a transcipt of the cover recording of the visit where Mr Petrovic says "I am too nice to people".

    "That night I was speaking with the younger [16-year-old boy] and he was like, 'bruv why are you so nice?' It's ******."

  17. 'I know where your mum lives and snitches get stitches'

    Belmarsh Prison

    After being arrested at his sister's address in Leicester and being interviewed by police in east London, Manuel Petrovic was charged with Jodie's murder on 9 March - a week after the fatal stabbing.

    Mr Petrovic was remanded into custody at Belmarsh Prison - and he told jurors he and Svenson Ong-a-Kwie had a "heated" chat in prison.

    "He came to my door at one point," Mr Petrovic said. "He asked me to go on a visit with someone.

    "Someone called Kevin. I said I did not know a Kevin.

    "He said, 'I know where your mum lives' and 'snitches get stiches or something'.

    "I can't remember what I said that day and that was it."

    The following day, Mr Petrovic said the pair met again in the exercise yard at Belmarsh.

    The 20-year-old told jurors: "He came to me and said sorry for what he had said the day before.

    "He said I was only the driver, I was not involved and I should be going home."

  18. Jury back in - trial resumes

    Old Bailey

    The panel of 12 jurors, made up of seven men and five women, have re-entered the court after their mid-morning break.

    Judge Wendy Joseph QC appears to have sorted her computer issues and the trial is back underway.

    Members of Jodie Chesney's family are present up in the public gallery alongside another 20 or so people.

    Jodie's uncle, Terry Chesney, is sat at the back of courtroom eight.

    Manuel Petrovic, dressed in a black suit, red shirt and a dark navy tie, is back in the witness box and Sarah Forshaw QC is finishing the examination of her client.

  19. Mid-morning break

    Manuel Petrovic has popped back to the dock as the jury go out for their mid-morning break.

    Judge Wendy Joseph QC says she has a "bit of computer problems" and the case will sit again at 12:15.

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