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, 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” Svenson 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.
The girl scout 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.
A police detective filmed hitting a teenager with his police baton has denied assaulting the boy.
Det Con Kevin Rowley, of Southend, Essex, is accused of attacking the boy while carrying out an arrest in Romford, East London, on 22 April.
He was charged with common assault by beating following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the Met Police said.
Det Con Rowley appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to deny the charge.
He was released on bail ahead of a trial at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on 23 January.
The force said it made a referral to the police watchdog following an arrest of a 17-year-old on suspicion of possession of class B drugs in Heath Park Road.
Footage of the arrest was widely circulated on social media.
Det Con Rowley, based at East Area Command Unit, is currently on restricted duties, the Met added.
A major outdoor art exhibition by an Oscar-winning artist has gone on display on billboards across London.
Turner Prize-winner and film-maker Steve McQueen’s billboards show class photographs of thousands of children from the capital’s schools.
The 613 posters across London’s 33 boroughs, featuring Year 3 pupils, celebrates the idea of citizenship and reflects the diversity of London.
McQueen said the project was inspired 21 years ago after he became a father.
“My hope is that through the billboards, millions of Londoners can reflect on the past, the present and the future not only of themselves but of their city,” he said.
“I am very excited that this portrait of London will be seen by so many people as part of their daily life in this great city that I love.”
Some 76,000 children, two thirds of London’s Year 3 pupils, were photographed for the accompanying exhibition at Tate Britain.
The Tate said: “Year 3 is considered a milestone year in a child’s development and sense of identity, when seven-and eight-year-olds become more conscious of a much bigger world beyond their immediate family.
“Steve McQueen’s project captures this moment of excitement, anticipation and hope through the medium of the traditional class photograph, with rows of smiling children sitting or standing alongside their teachers.”
McQueen was born in London in 1969 and after becoming a renowned artist, he went on to make films Hunger, Shame, Widows and the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave.
When he started the project McQueen said: “When you first start education, things start to change. When you start being aware of gender, when you start being aware of race. When you start being aware of class.
“When those things come into your psyche – it can actually change your thoughts forever.”
You may also like:
On why he chose to express his vision via the traditional school photograph, McQueen said: “The school photo is very formal. Kids are standing or sitting crossed legged with the teacher on the side.
“I used to love that format – and it’s a photo that reflects on that class, the school and also reflects on society.
“So a message that can be so local – when moulded with the other photographs – can become global.”
The death of a woman in a fire in a north London maisonette is being treated as murder, police have said.
The victim was discovered by fire crews on the second floor of the building after they were called to Mingard Walk in Islington at 12:40 BST on Saturday.
A man, thought to be aged in his 30s, is in a critical condition in hospital having been rescued from the property.
The Met said it was treating the blaze as suspicious. No arrests have been made.
Police said formal identification of the woman and a post-mortem examination were due to take place.
About 25 firefighters and four fire engines were deployed to the four-storey block.
Part of the maisonette was damaged in the blaze.
Millwall caretaker manager Adam Barrett takes charge of what could be his final match as the Lions host Cardiff, with Gary Rowett tipped to take over.
Ryan Leonard is a doubt after missing the loss at Brentford with injury.
Cardiff could recall Lee Tomlin after the midfielder impressed when he came on as a substitute in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
Sol Bamba moved a step closer to his return from injury in an Under-23 game on Monday, but is unlikely to start.
- There have been just six goals scored in the last eight league meetings between Millwall and Cardiff since a 3-3 draw in March 2011.
- Cardiff have won just one of their last nine away league visits to Millwall (W1 D6 L2), a 2-0 win in September 2012.
- Millwall have won just one of their last nine league games (D4 L4), although this was their last home match in the Championship (2-1 v Leeds United).
- Cardiff City have lost eight of their last nine games played on Tuesday in all competitions.
- Millwall striker Matt Smith has been involved in four goals in four league starts against Cardiff City (3 goals, 1 assist).
- Cardiff manager Neil Warnock has won just two of his last 20 away league games in London (W2 D6 L12), with one of those away at Millwall with Leeds in March 2012.
A man who drove at cyclists and police officers outside Parliament has been jailed for life for attempted murder.
Salih Khater, 30, of Highgate Street, Birmingham, aimed his car at members of the public before swerving towards the officers in Parliament Square on 14 August 2018.
He must serve at least 15 years in jail, the Old Bailey judge said.
Khater was accused of attempting to cause maximum carnage, and it was said to be “miraculous” no-one was killed.
The court was told he tried to “kill as many people as possible” with his Ford Fiesta.
CCTV footage showed how he careered into a security lane and crashed into barriers as two police officers jumped out of the way.
Alison Morgan QC told jurors Khater’s attack was “premeditated and deliberate” and had a terrorist motive.
The defendant claimed he had driven to London to find the Sudanese embassy to get a visa but “got lost” around Westminster and panicked.
However, a jury rejected his explanation for the crash and found him guilty of two charges of attempted murder in July.
In mitigation, Peter Carter QC told the court Khater had still not offered an explanation for what he did.
He argued: “The lack of evidence is not a proper basis for drawing a conclusion there is evidence of a terrorist connection.”
But Mrs Justice McGowan found Khater had deliberately copied terrorists.
“Your undoubted intention was to kill as many people as possible and by doing so spread fear and terror,” she said; adding that he had “replicated the acts of others who undoubtedly have acted with terrorist motives”.
The court heard Khater was born in Sudan before being granted asylum in Britain in 2010, claiming he had been tortured in his birth country.
In the months before the attack, Khater had showed signs of “paranoia” about British authorities, emailing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to express concern about an “event” involving the intelligence services.
Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “This was a man who used his car as a weapon to attempt to kill as many people as possible, spreading fear and terror.
“It was our view that this attack was carried out with a terrorist purpose and the sentence confirms this,” he added.
More than 130 people have been arrested in London at the start of two weeks of protests by environmental campaigners.
Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in cities around the world, including Berlin, Amsterdam and Sydney.
Organisers have planned to shut down key sites in central London, in addition to demonstrating outside government departments.
Extinction Rebellion claims protests in the capital will be five times bigger than similar events in April.
The protests are calling for urgent action on global climate and wildlife emergencies.
Activists barricaded themselves to vehicles in Westminster early on Monday as the demonstrations got under way.
Police were seen cutting two protesters from a car that had blocked Victoria Embankment, while campaigners also locked themselves to a mock Trident missile outside the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall.
Activists were also pictured on a barge on the Thames, according to BBC reporter, Bruce Thain.
Meanwhile, hundreds of campaigners have filled Trafalgar Square and blocked Lambeth and Westminster bridges.
A string of celebrities including fashion model Daisy Lowe, actress Juliet Stevenson and comedian Ruby Wax, joined campaigners at Trafalgar Square.
Ms Stevenson said the protests were “a very wonderful action”, revealing her son was attending them as a worker for Extinction Rebellion.
She told the Press Association (PA): “We can’t any longer allow governments to do this so we have to make it clear that there is no more time.
“There’s a long tradition in this country of people saying governments are not acting, we have to make them realise how urgent this is.
“I’m optimistic about the energy there is amongst people to act but I’m not hugely optimistic about government stepping up to the plate… We need to make them realise that time is not on our side at the moment.”
On Saturday Ms Lowe, 30, hosted a dinner to “celebrate and be educated” by Extinction Rebellion activists, and encouraged followers to join the protests.
She wrote on Instagram: “It is a terrifying reality we live in, but we have the power to change the course of history and save our planet.”
Sir Mark Rylance, the Oscar-winning actor joined a blockade in the Mall, and said “urgent action” was needed, The Times reports.
He told the newspaper: “We want a much deeper discussion and more urgent action.
“I’m a storyteller and this story dwarfs everything else.”
He added that he would not rule out being arrested, saying it was “worthwhile” for certain things.
“That depends on what situation arose. XR is here because the democratic process has failed.”
“I do think there are things that it’s worthwhile being arrested for and you can look back at many of the things that have changed in the past, people have been arrested.
“Notorious people like me who write letters and be arrested that’s not it, it’s many little changes in people’s hearts.”
In June, Sir Mark resigned as an associate artist at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) over its partnership with BP, which the theatre company has since vowed to end.
Meanwhile, activists from Animal Rebellion, a movement allied to Extinction Rebellion, began marching from Russell Square to Smithfield Meat Market on Monday afternoon.
Organisers said they plan to stage an overnight occupation of the market to share their “vision of a future plant-based food system”.
Fiona Oakes, the world record holding England long-distance runner and vegan campaigner, joined the action.
In an update shortly before 13:00 BST, organisers said several thousand people had blocked locations across Westminster, including Whitehall and the Mall.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said there were 135 arrests in connection with the protests as of 12:30 BST.
Extinction Rebellion said this included Sarah Lasenby, 81, a Quaker and retired social worker from Oxford.
Ms Lasenby, who the group says was part of efforts to block Embankment, said: “It is imperative that the government should take serious actions and put pressure on other states and global powers to radically reduce the use of fossil fuels.”
What is Extinction Rebellion?
2025group’s aims for zero carbon emissions
298,000followers on Facebook
1,130people arrested over April’s London protests
2018year the group was founded
Source: BBC Research
Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and take immediate action to address climate change.
It describes itself as an international “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement”.
Extinction Rebellion was launched in 2018 and organisers say it now has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.
In April, the group held a large demonstration in London that brought major routes in the city to a standstill.
Extinction Rebellion organisers say they are expecting up to 30,000 people to take part in the fortnight-long demonstrations in the capital, which form part of an “international rebellion”.
Similar protests in the UK earlier this year brought major disruption to London and resulted in more than 1,100 arrests.
Up to 60 other cities around the world may also be disrupted in simultaneous events, according to a spokesperson for the group.
Activists will call on government departments to detail their plans to tackle the climate emergency.
Police in Australia and New Zealand have already arrested dozens of Extinction Rebellion activists on Monday.
Some 30 campaigners in Sydney were charged with committing offences after hundreds of protesters blocked a busy road.
The latest arrests in London come after the Met police arrested 11 people during the weekend.
A spokesperson for the force said eight people were arrested on Saturday after previously reporting 10. They have all been released under investigation.
One woman and two men were arrested on Sunday on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance. The men remain in custody while the woman has been released under investigation.
More than 1,000 people attended an “opening ceremony” at Marble Arch on Sunday night, which featured meditation and dancing.
Boris Johnson has insisted allegations about his personal conduct are not overshadowing the Tory conference.
Journalist Charlotte Edwardes has accused the PM of touching her thigh, and that of another woman, at a lunch in 1999, which he denies.
Rumours were circulating at conference that Mary Wakefield – who is married to the PM’s chief adviser – was the second woman, but she has rejected that.
The PM said people wanted to hear about his plans to “improve their lives”.
The row erupted after Ms Edwardes’ wrote a column in the Sunday Times on the eve of the Conservative conference in Manchester, describing the alleged incident.
The PM was already facing questions over his ties to a US businesswoman, Jennifer Arcuri, during his time as London mayor – he insists he acted with “full propriety”.
The Conservatives are trying to focus this week on their key conference message – “Get Brexit Done” – and a raft of policy pledges.
In her first column for the paper, Ms Edwardes said the incident took place in 1999. She said she was seated on Mr Johnson’s right at the lunch, held at the Spectator magazine’s offices – he was editor of the magazine at the time.
“More wine is poured; more wine is drunk. Under the table I feel Johnson’s hand on my thigh. He gives it a squeeze,” she wrote.
“His hand is high up my leg and he has enough inner flesh beneath his fingers to make me sit suddenly upright.”
On Sunday evening, No 10 released a statement calling the claims “untrue”, but Ms Edwardes later tweeted: “If the prime minister doesn’t recollect the incident then clearly I have a better memory than he does.”
Asked on Monday if the incident had taken place, Mr Johnson said: “No.”
When it was put to him that the row was overshadowing everything else at the conference, he replied “not at all”.
“I think what the public want to hear is what we are doing to bring the country together and get on with improving their lives,” he added.
Ms Edwardes said another woman at the lunch later told her Mr Johnson had done the same to her.
Spectator magazine commissioning editor Ms Wakefield, who is married to the prime minister’s adviser Dominic Cummings, issued a statement to say she was “not the woman referred to in Charlotte Edwardes’s column”.
“Boris was a good boss and nothing like this ever happened to me. Nor has Charlotte, who I like and admire, ever discussed the incident with me.”
Earlier, ex-Tory minister Justine Greening said Ms Edwardes’ story was “deeply concerning”.
However, Ms Greening told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I can’t comment on those accusations, but they are deeply concerning, and in a sense they go to the heart of this question about character and integrity of people in public life and what standards the electorate have a right to expect.”
Chancellor Sajid Javid, however, backed the PM.
“The prime minister has said that this is completely untrue,” he said. “I have full faith in the prime minister and I don’t doubt that and what he has said for a second.”
On Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said “these issues are incredibly important”.
He said he knew Ms Edwardes well and knew her to be “trustworthy”.
Former minister Amber Rudd – who quit the Conservative Party over its handling of Brexit earlier this month – tweeted that she agreed with Mr Hancock’s conclusion.
But Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said, unless further evidence emerged, he would “take [the prime minister] at his word”.
“I don’t have any inside information into this,” he told BBC Politics Live.
“It’s very hard for any of us to speculate on what may or may not have happened.”
Boris Johnson has refused six times to address claims he failed to declare a potential conflict of interest in how money was given to a US businesswoman while he was London mayor.
The Sunday Times said Jennifer Arcuri joined trade missions he led and was given £26,500 of public money.
She told the paper it was part of her role as a legitimate businesswoman.
The newspaper also claimed she was awarded a £100,000 government grant earlier this year.
Labour has said Mr Johnson must give a full account of his actions, but pressed by journalists during a flight to New York, the now-prime minister refused to comment.
Ms Arcuri, a technology entrepreneur, is thought to have moved to London seven years ago.
The Sunday Times reported that one of her businesses received £10,000 and £1,500 in sponsorship money from a mayoral organisation when Mr Johnson was in office, and a £15,000 government grant for foreign entrepreneurs to build businesses in Britain.
The newspaper also said Ms Arcuri got a £100,000 grant from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport earlier this year.
The grant was intended for “English-based” businesses – although she had moved back to the US in June 2018.
The Sunday Times said it had found the registered address on the grant application form was a rented house in the UK and no longer connected to her.
The government has confirmed to the BBC it is investigating, but said the funds were awarded to a UK-registered company.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it was “perfectly normal” for entrepreneurs to join trade missions, aimed at promoting British businesses overseas.
He told the BBC: “British companies and entrepreneurs go on trade missions. It’s quite right and proper and I’m sure that’s exactly what’s happened there.”
The current London Mayor, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, said he has ordered City Hall officials to look into the allegations.
Journalists asked Mr Johnson about the allegations when travelling with him to the UN General Assembly in New York.
The PM – who was London mayor between 2008 and 2016 – told reporters he was there to “talk about what we’re doing in the UN and this country’s commitment to tackle climate change”, as well as “the crisis in the Gulf and any other issues that may arise”.
Asked again, he replied: “I’m here to talk exclusively about the work of the UN.”
Ms Arcuri was quoted by the Sunday Times as saying: “Any grants received by my companies and any trade mission I joined were purely in respect of my role as a legitimate businesswoman.”
Who is Jennifer Arcuri?
The woman at the centre of this story is Jennifer Arcuri, who describes herself on Twitter as an entrepreneur, cyber security expert and producer.
She began her career as a DJ on Radio Disney, before moving into film – where she wrote, produced and directed a short film that went on to be sold at Cannes Film Festival.
Ms Arcuri then brought in her tech skills to create a streaming platform for independent film makers.
But it was her founding of The Innotech Network in London that saw her path cross with Boris Johnson.
The network hosts events to discuss tech policy, and Mr Johnson was the keynote speaker at the first of those in 2012.
Since then, Ms Arcuri has also founded another company called Hacker House, which uses ethical hackers to find tech solutions for businesses.
James Maddison’s first league goal of the season helped Leicester come from behind to beat Tottenham in an absorbing encounter at the King Power Stadium.
Maddison drilled a superb low effort into the far corner from distance to lift Brendan Rodgers’ side back into the top four of the Premier League at the visitors’ expense.
Ricardo Pereira had put the Foxes back on level terms, moments after Spurs had been denied a second goal when Serge Aurier’s low drive was disallowed for a marginal offside call against Son Heung-min.
Harry Kane’s fourth league goal of the season had given Spurs the lead in the first half, the England striker slotting Son’s clever flick beyond Kasper Schmeichel despite being knocked off balance by Foxes defender Caglar Soyuncu.
Leicester thought they had opened the scoring themselves when Wilfred Ndidi scored on the rebound after Paulo Gazzaniga spilled Youri Tielemans’ effort, but the goal was ruled out for offside by the video assistant referee.
Tightest of VAR calls denies Spurs
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino accused his players of “lacking fight” after they surrendered a two-goal lead to draw with Olympiakos in the Champions League midweek.
The result mirrored their 2-2 draw with north London rivals Arsenal in their previous away league game, with Kane admitting after Wednesday’s Group B opener that Spurs had failed to learn from recent mistakes.
Pochettino made six changes to the team that started in Greece, with Hugo Lloris unavailable due to his wife giving birth and Dele Alli left out of the squad altogether. Christian Eriksen, Lucas Moura and Eric Dier all had to settle for places on the bench.
Perhaps as a result, the visitors looked disjointed in the early stages and were fortunate not to fall behind when Ndidi’s effort was chalked off.
There was nothing fortunate about Kane’s opener 13 minutes later, however.
The England striker managed to latch on to Son’s back-heel and despite losing his balance under Soyuncu’s challenge, he somehow managed to knock the ball past Jonny Evans before lifting it over Schmeichel into the far corner.
Spurs thought they had doubled their lead when Aurier drilled a powerful drive into the far corner, but Son was adjudged to have been marginally offside in the build-up and the goal was chalked off.
Buoyed by that narrow decision, Leicester threw bodies forward and restored parity through Pereira, before Maddison struck with five minutes remaining to extend Spurs’ winless league run away from home to nine games.
Leicester prove top-six credentials
After watching the Foxes slip to their first defeat of the campaign at Old Trafford last weekend, Leicester fans were hopeful that their team could continue their impressive home form against a Spurs side who have looked vulnerable on their travels of late.
They had lost their last three meetings with Tottenham in the Premier League prior to today’s game, but this latest performance provided further compelling evidence that Rodgers’ team can mount a serious challenge for a top-six finish this season.
Maddison was heavily involved early on, the 22-year-old curling an effort narrowly off target from the edge of the box before firing straight at Gazzaniga from a tight angle after twisting and turning to find room for the shot.
Rodgers’ side did not let their heads drop after falling behind, with Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy both going close to equalising before Pereira’s strike midway through the second half.
Just as the game appeared destined to end in a draw, Maddison collected Hamza Choudhury’s pass before firing low into the bottom corner from a central position – all in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate.
The result was no less than Maddison and his team-mates deserve and lifts the Foxes – temporarily at least – to second in the Premier League.
Man of the match – James Maddison (Leicester)
VAR takes centre stage – the stats
- There were two goals disallowed by VAR in this match, while no other game in the Premier League in 2019-20 has had more than one chalked off.
- Tottenham have failed to win three consecutive away Premier League games when they were leading at half-time for the first time since March 2008.
- Leicester have suffered just one defeat in their last nine Premier League home games (W6 D2), after losing four in a row directly before that.
- Tottenham are without a win in their last nine away games in the Premier League (W0 D2 L7) – they last had a longer winless away run between April and December 2006 (10).
- Leicester’s Ricardo Pereira scored his third goal in 41 Premier League appearances – all three have come at the King Power Stadium.
- Tottenham striker Harry Kane has scored 14 goals in 13 games in all competitions against Leicester, four more than he has versus any other side in his professional career.
- Since the start of last season, Kane has scored 13 Premier League away goals, more than any other player in this period.
- Leicester’s James Maddison ended a run of 31 shots in the Premier League without a goal, since netting versus Huddersfield in April.
- Spurs’ Son Heung-min has been directly involved in seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances versus Leicester (4 goals, 3 assists).
Leicester travel to Luton Town in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, 24 September (19:45 BST), while Spurs visit Colchester United at the same time.