One of Jodie Chesney’s alleged killers has been accused of throwing his business partner “under the bus” over the teenager’s death.
Drug dealer Manuel Petrovic drove Svenson Ong-a-Kwie and two youths to the park where Jodie was fatally stabbed on 1 March.
Mr Petrovic denied he was trying to “rewrite the truth”.
He, along with Mr Ong-a-Kwie and two youths, aged 16 and 17, deny murder and are on trial at the Old Bailey.
Cross-examining Mr Petrovic, Mr Ong-a-Kwie’s lawyer accused him of distancing himself from his co-accused.
Charles Sherrard QC said: “What I suggest is that you have, from the minute you were arrested, decided your best tactic is to present yourself as a particular type of person – somebody who is too nice, the older brother type, and wherever possible, distanced yourself from Svenson.”
Mr Petrovic replied: “That’s not correct.”
Mr Sherrard continued: “And in distancing yourself you have chosen to rewrite the truth and metaphorically throw him under the bus.”
The 20-year-old repeated: “That’s not correct.”
Mr Sherrard asserted that it was Mr Petrovic that 19-year-old Mr Ong-a-Kwie turned to when he needed a lift to Harold Hill on the night of 1 March.
He turned to him again when he needed fresh clothes and trusted him with a “drug line”, it was claimed.
But Mr Petrovic told jurors: “It was more business associates than friends but I would not not class him as a friend.”
Asked why he picked up Ong-a-Kwie on 1 March, leaving customers waiting, he said: “It’s not out of the blue, he would help me out on occasions so I would try to help him out too.”
The Old Bailey trial continues.
Boris Johnson is expected to comply with a London Assembly order to explain his links to a US businesswoman.
Len Duvall, chairman of City Hall’s oversight committee, said: “We are going to have something this evening from Downing Street.”
The PM is facing questions about his friendship with Jennifer Arcuri when he was London mayor.
He has been accused of failing to declare a conflict of interest, but has said he acted properly at all times.
Mr Johnson had been given until Tuesday to provide details of contacts with Ms Arcuri.
Mr Duvall said: “We have had some fun and games today arguing about when is the deadline, but we finally have an announcement that they are going to comply, and we are going to get something this evening from Downing Street. I hope it is comprehensive and I hope it provides answers.
“The allegations are serious, I hope the prime minister is treating them seriously.”
He said the assembly’s powers to take action against Mr Johnson, if he was found to have breached its code of conduct, were limited because he was no longer mayor of London.
But it could still summon the prime minister to appear before the oversight committee to answer further questions about his contacts with Ms Arcuri.
Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says Chelsea players Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori are not currently part of his plans.
Striker Abraham, 21, who is eligible for Nigeria through his father and has been capped twice by England in friendlies, has refused to rule out playing for the Super Eagles.
Canada-born defender Tomori, also 21, has 15 caps for the England Under-21 team but has previously said he could play for Nigeria as he is eligible through his parents.
“They are both interesting players, but we have made our immediate plans without Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori,” Rohr told BBC Sport.
“They are not interested in discussing their international options at the moment and we need to respect that.”
England are due to face the Czech Republic and Bulgaria in World Cup qualifiers this month. Should either player take to the field in one of the competitive fixtures they will no longer have the option of changing their allegiance.
“It is also significant to note that Abraham has been assured that he will be in the England squad,” Rohr added.
“Tomori is a very good friend of our player Ola Aina (ex-Chelsea and England youth international) and he said he does not want to discuss this for now.
“We have to focus on what we have and not lose focus about what people say all the time.”
Nigeria have previously succeeded in convincing former England youth players like Aina and Sone Aluko to represent the three-time African champions.
Another English-born player, Joe Aribo, who players for Rangers in Scotland, scored on his debut against Ukraine in September.
Aribo’s Rangers teammate and England Under-20 World Cup winner Sheyi Ojo also told the BBC that he would love to represent Nigeria if they approach him.
And last week another former England youth international, Chuba Akpom, revealed he has now pledged his international allegiance to the country of his parents.
Heavy rain is causing flash flooding and travel problems on roads across England.
Ten flood warnings and 40 flood alerts have been put in place across much of the country by the Environment Agency.
The Met Office has a yellow rain warning covering most of the country in force until 23:00 BST.
Floods have been reported on roads in Southampton, Birmingham, Liverpool, and London where flooding was also reported at the Houses of Parliament.
Some areas saw more than 50mm of rain in less than 12 hours as wind, rain and thunder battered parts of the country.
Boscombe Down in Wiltshire had the biggest downpour, with 51.2mm falling at the military base near Amesbury in the 12 hours to 13:00 BST.
About 49.6mm (2in) of rain fell there in the six hours before 09:00, according to the Met Office.
Spokesman Grahame Madge said it was a “significant” amount of rain.
He said the band of rain was “transient” having started in the South West, before moving to the Midlands and hitting the North later in the day.
Currently, flood warnings, where flooding is expected, are in place for:
- Grace Dieu Brook at Whitwick and Thringstone in Leicestershire
- Ifield Brook and the River Mole at Ifield and the River Mole at Lowfield Heath in Crawley, West Sussex
- River Maun at Edwinstowe and Ollerton in Nottinghamshire
- River Tame at Hams Hall, Whitacre and Water Orton in Warwickshire
- Upper Frome from Maiden Newton to Dorchester in Dorset
- Whinney Brook and Dovers Brook at Maghull in Sefton, Merseyside
Flood alerts, which indicate flooding is possible, are in place across the country, including for parts of Greater London, Derbyshire, Sheffield, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire.
Wales has also been affected by the heavy rainfall, with the Met Office issuing warnings across south and north eastern areas of the country.
The weather has affected public transport, with National Rail warning of major disruption between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stourbridge earlier due to a tree blocking the line.
On the roads, delays were caused by several cars breaking down in water on Milbrook Road West in Southampton city centre, with motorists also advised to avoid Waterhouse Lane and Paynes Road.
Mersey Fire and Rescue Service reported vehicles trapped in floodwater in the Queens Drive and West Derby areas of Liverpool.
A service spokesman urged drivers to “please take extra care”, adding: “Slow down, increase your distances, switch your lights on and please don’t drive into floodwater.”
Roads have been flooded in the Longbridge area of Birmingham, with West Midlands Fire Service reporting being called to two motorists on the roof of a vehicle in a ford in Hawkesley Mill Lane, Northfield.
West Midlands crews also rescued two pensioners who had become stuck in their vehicle in flood water in Alum Rock, Birmingham.
They also had to pump water out of one of their own fire stations; in Ward End, Birmingham.
Flooding has also been reported in the Houses of Commons, with Twitter users sharing footage of a patch of water being barricaded off.
The cycling action can still be seen on West Park and Parliament Street, organisers said, but the wet weather did lead to two crashes involving riders.
The downpours are being brought by low pressure travelling across the UK, along with warm and humid air linked to the remnants of Hurricane Humberto which hit Bermuda coastline last week.
The heavy rain is expected to clear by Wednesday, but a low-pressure front is expected to remain for the rest of the week.
Diogo Jota’s dramatic stoppage-time equaliser rescued a point for Wolves at Crystal Palace.
Leander Dendoncker’s own goal had seemed certain to give Palace victory before Jota’s late strike for the visitors, who had Romain Saiss sent off for two bookings.
Wilfried Zaha’s failure to maintain possession for Palace saw Adama Traore gallop clear on the right and his far-post cross was poked home by Jota from four yards after defender Joel Ward lost his balance.
Palace had been closing in on a top-six spot after a wayward Ward shot flew past goalkeeper Rui Patricio off the unfortunate Dendoncker.
But Wolves, who enjoyed the better of a largely uneventful first half with Dendoncker, Matt Doherty and Jota all having chances to open the scoring, merited their point.
Crystal Palace move up to 12th in the table while Wolves, after just avoiding their third consecutive Premier League defeat, remain 19th.
Wolves show quality needed to get out of trouble
While Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo has until now shown no external signs of being a man under pressure, the way in which the visiting bench exuberantly celebrated Jota’s last-gasp goal told a different story.
It had looked like being another miserable afternoon for the Black Country side, who had arrived in London having failed to win any of their opening five top-flight fixtures.
On every occasion that has happened to them in the past, relegation has followed – 2003-04, 1983-84, 1975-76, 1964-65, 1905-06 – but the way in which Nuno’s side rallied suggests they have the quality and heart to avoid the same fate.
With Ruben Neves relegated to the substitutes bench, captain Conor Coady assumed the early responsibility for orchestrating Wolves’ attacking play from the centre of defence.
The former midfielder, who was converted into the central figure of Wolves’ three-man defence when Nuno arrived in 2017, sprayed several raking cross-field passes to initiate openings.
In the first half, there were few signs of a lack of confidence or fatigue – Wolves have now completed 13 matches this season, almost double the number of most of their domestic rivals.
Doherty’s header forced Palace keeper Vicente Guaita into a fine stop, while Dendoncker’s close-range strike was blocked close to the Palace goalline.
But it was their attitude to adversity which stood out, as they persevered despite being a man and a goal down in the last 20 minutes.
Substitute Neves curled a right-footed shot just wide while Jota and Traore both saw efforts blocked by a posse of home defenders before Jota’s goal.
Palace revert back to type
After a humbling 4-0 reverse at Tottenham this was very much a Palace performance that reverted back to Roy Hodgson’s blueprint of defensive discipline and organisation.
Forward-thinking midfielder Andros Townsend was sacrificed for James McArthur in the starting XI as the former England manager again deployed a five-man midfield but this time with personnel capable of stifling the opposition,
And that strategy worked during the first period – albeit aided by some errant Wolves finishing – as the teams largely cancelled each other out.
The problem for Hodgson arrived once Ward’s deflected strike and Saiss’ dismissal put Palace in complete command.
Luka Milivojevic and Kouyate both saw shots from distance deflected behind while substitute Christian Benteke and Jeffrey Schlupp forced Patricio into one-versus-one saves.
But they were simply unable to kill off the game and in committing men forward to do so they showed a lack of game management as they left themselves open to Wolves on the counter-attack.
Man of the match – Diogo Jota (Wolves)
‘This is a starting point’ – what they said
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, speaking to Match of the Day: “This is football. We have the spirit, the heart and the character to believe until the end. The boys were running up and down and tired.
“The growing of the team relies on these kind of aspects. We are in the situation where we play Thursday and Sunday.”
What does the game say about character of your side? “It says a lot. We have done it before. In the Championship we managed to win games in the last second. I think we can do better in the first half. We need to reproduce again what we did in the first half to grow as a team.
“This is a starting point. What we did in the first half, lets try to do over and over again.”
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson, speaking to BBC Match of the Day : “I am bitterly disappointed of course. If the game was a draw after the first half I would have few complaints but after the second half, and to get within 90 seconds of a win, it is a tough one to take. It feels like a defeat. I didn’t expect them to get such a clear goal chance. I felt we might add to our score.
“You want game management and players to use experience to see games through but the feeling is one of disappointment and anguish that we weren’t able to see the game through. We have surrendered two points.
“It is that ‘if’ word. If we had won today I would have a big smile on my face. But we didn’t, so I am how I am.”
Capital gains for Wolves – the stats
- Crystal Palace haven’t lost any of their last 10 Premier League games against sides starting the day in the bottom three (P10 W7 D3 L0) since a 0-4 defeat to Sunderland in February 2017.
- Following Diogo Jota’s late equaliser, Wolves remain unbeaten in their seven Premier League games in London since their promotion back to the top-flight in 2018, winning three and drawing four of those games.
- Crystal Palace (P6 W2 D2 L2) have won eight points from their opening six Premier League games this season, their most after six games since the 2016-17 season (10 points).
- Wolves have conceded five own-goals in the Premier League since their return to the competition in August 2018, the joint-most alongside Burnley in that timeframe (Conor Coady (3), Matt Doherty (1) and Leander Dendoncker (1).
- Since making his Premier League debut in December 2013, Wilfried Zaha has induced six opposition red cards – the most of any player. Romain Saïss became the eighth Moroccan to receive a red card in the competition.
- Leander Dendoncker’s own goal was Crystal Palace’s 100th goal in the Premier League under Roy Hodgson – the first time the Eagles have scored as many under one manager and the first club he has managed in the competition to reach this total.
- Wolves have made one more change to their staring XI after six Premier League games this season (12) than they did through their first 16 games in the competition last season (11).
- Diogo Jota’s goal for Wolves (94:53) is the latest Crystal Palace have conceded at Selhurst Park in the Premier League since March 2016, when current striker Christian Benteke netted for Liverpool (95:10).
Crystal Palace face Norwich at Selhurst Park in their next Premier League fixture on Saturday 28 September (15:00 BST).
Wolves host Reading in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday 25 September (19:45 BST) before resuming their Premier League duties at Molineux against Watford on Saturday 28 September (15:00 BST).
Thousands of people are protesting across the UK, with pupils leaving schools and workers downing tools as part of a global “climate strike” day.
Millions are taking part around the world with rallies in British cities including Glasgow, Manchester and London, urging “climate justice”.
Anna Taylor, 18, a co-founder of UK Student Climate Network said it was “very easy” to get people to show up.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said “every child should be in school”.
“They should be learning, they shouldn’t be bunking off and it’s very irresponsible for people to encourage children to do so,” he added.
Student Jessica Ahmed, 16, emailed her school to warn that she would be joining the protests instead of being in class.
Speaking at a protest in Westminster, Miss Ahmed said: “School is important but so is my future.
“If politicians were taking the appropriate action we need – and had been taking this action a long time ago when it was recognised the world was changing in a negative way – then I would not have to be skipping school.”
Demonstrations have also been organised in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Brighton, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Birmingham.
Students let off alarm bells at 13:00 BST to “raise the alarm” for the climate.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed the climate change protest in Westminster, saying: “If we’re going to sustain this planet we need to get to net zero emissions a lot, lot quicker than 2050 [the government’s target].”
He said he wanted every country to sign up to the Paris Agreement and, referring to President Donald Trump, said it was “disgraceful when you get a president of a major country like the US” who says they will walk away.
The Paris deal commits signatory nations to keeping global temperatures “well below” 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and “endeavour to limit” them even more, to 1.5C.
Dozens of pupils from John Stainer Community Primary school in Brockley, south-east London, are among those taking part in protests in the capital.
Head teacher Sue Harte said “climate change is clearly a big issue” and “children need to know that they have a right to democratic protest”.
Sebastian, a pupil at the school, said he joined the protests to help fight global warming.
“They, the government, don’t understand that we’re going to go through it and they are not,” he said.
Eight-year-old Sohan and Nayan, five, also from south-east London, joined protesters with their mother, Celine.
Sohan said: “We want to save our planet and we hope that marching will help.”
Hundreds of climate activists – including children in school uniform – have staged a mass “die in” in Belfast, where they lay down in the city centre.
One Extinction Rebellion activist, Lorraine Montague from County Tyrone, was dressed as a swan to highlight the threat of climate change to wildlife.
“Our climate is at crisis point and the government is not doing anything about it. We have to support the young people, they are the ones who started this strike,” she said.
“We are grieving for our future. I don’t feel happy about having children the way our climate is going.”
Extinction Rebellion ‘solidarity’
Extinction Rebellion, which organised its own climate and environment protests in the UK earlier this year, said it stood “in solidarity” with those taking part.
It added that its members were joining the strikes and holding their own events, including a choir and “kids’ space” in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster, and outside King’s College London.
Some trade unions, including the TUC, the University and College Union and Unite, are supporting members who take part in the “strikes”.
Co-operative Bank says it is supporting workers who want to join the action, while US clothing brand Patagonia is closing all of its stores and taking out adverts to back the protesters.
But in Norwich, protester Tiffany Wallace said her employer declined to give her time off work join demonstrators “because they didn’t think it was important”.
“The worst thing they can do is fire me,” said the 33-year-old.
“I don’t feel I should compromise my own values and integrity and what’s important, so I can make money for a business.”
The action follows school strikes inspired by activist Greta Thunberg.
The teenager, from Sweden, is set to join a rally planned in New York, where world leaders will meet at the UN next week to discuss climate change.
Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said he could not “endorse children leaving school” to take part in the protests.
But he said he did support “their energy, their creativity, and the fact that they have completely mastered these issues and take them very seriously”.
A man accused of murdering a teenage girl who was stabbed in a park claimed to be “deeply saddened” to hear of her death but refused to help police, a court has heard.
Manuel Petrovic, 20, is one of four people jointly accused of murdering Jodie Chesney.
The 17-year-old was stabbed in the back as she sat with friends in a park in Harold Hill, east London, on 1 March.
The Old Bailey has heard she was caught up in a dispute between drug dealers.
Mr Petrovic, a second man Svenson Ong-a-kwie, 19, and two youths aged 16 and 17, who cannot be named for legal reasons, from Barking and Romford, all deny murdering Jodie.
The court heard Mr Petrovic was arrested within days of her death after his Vauxhall Corsa was linked to the scene around the time of the stabbing.
Initially, he denied involvement in Jodie’s murder and said his car had been stolen in a knifepoint robbery.
Jurors were told he later admitted to owning the Vauxhall and having a mobile phone he used for selling cannabis.
He said: “I would like to say that I have no involvement in the murder of Jodie Chesney. I am deeply saddened by her death and feel for her friends and family.”
Mr Petrovic refused to name anyone he had been with that night “due to my own safety and the safety of my family”, saying people had already gone to his house looking for him.
The court heard Mr Petrovic said he had been with a friend on 1 March who received a call from a man, who was not named, asking for a lift.
They picked up that man, who was with another person, and drove to Harold Hill so the men could “collect some weed and some money”.
In his police statement, Mr Petrovic said the two unnamed men got out at Harold Hill, leaving him and his friend in the car.
He said the men were gone for up to five minutes and “seemed calm” when they returned.
“Nothing about them made me suspicious. I did not see either of them carrying anything,” he added.
After dropping the two men off, Mr Petrovic claimed a black male had pulled a knife to his throat and snatched his car keys.
He said he heard the next day that a girl had been stabbed in Harold Hill and added he “hoped it had nothing to do with why I was in the area” with the two unnamed men.
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told jurors: “You may recall Petrovic’s claim to have been ‘deeply saddened’ by Jodie’s death.
“Nonetheless, Petrovic was not willing to help the police. He continued to make no comment until the police gave up asking questions.”
Mr Aylett told jurors that police went to arrest Mr Ong-a-Kwie at a hostel where he was living and found a knife on top of a fridge in his room.
The prosecutor suggested the murder weapon itself may have been disposed of but the presence of another blade was “not without significance”.
The court heard officers continued their search for Mr Ong-a-Kwie and he was arrested at another address in Dagenham where the defendant allegedly told police: “Murder? I ain’t done a murder.”
The 17-year-old defendant was also arrested in the back garden of the house.
The trial continues.
Body scanners used to screen passengers for hidden explosives and weapons are being used for the first time at a London railway station.
A Home Office sponsored five-day trial has started at Stratford station, east London.
Portable scanners are being used to screen passengers from up to 30ft away without them having to pass through a security checkpoint.
The Home Office said the scheme was part of a “battle against knife crime”.
Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said: “No-one should feel they can walk the streets with a knife and expect to get away with it.
“We are pulling out all the stops in a battle against knife crime in London and across the country.”
The scanners, built by British firm Thruvision, reveal objects hidden inside clothing that block body heat.
Sensitive cameras capable of screening 2,000 passengers an hour will enable officers to see the size, shape and location of any blade or gun.
It does not show any intimate body parts, the Home Office said.
The station, which connects several Transport for London lines with Overground services, has an average of 110,000 passengers a day.
The trial will also look at how officers can use technology to reduce reliance on controversial stop-and-search powers.
Thruvision is already used on the Los Angeles Metro, which last year became the first mass transport system in the US to adopt it.
Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith, from British Transport Police, said: “Fortunately, knife crime on the rail network is very low.
“In support of the Home Office and other police forces, we are keen to explore how technology can assist us in tackling violent crime head on.”
Derrick Williams and Bradley Dack scored the goals as Blackburn secured victory over Millwall at Ewood Park.
Williams drove the ball home from 20 yards after there had been little to choose between the sides in the opening exchanges.
The Lions struggled to carve out chances and most of their first-half efforts were from outside the box.
Adam Armstrong almost made it two after the break, only to be denied by Bartosz Bialkowski’s reaction save, but the Millwall keeper could do nothing as Dack slid home Darragh Lenihan’s square ball to seal the points.
Both managers made two changes for their first game after the international break, with Tosin Adarabioyo and John Buckley in for Rovers, and Jayson Molumby and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson making their first Championship starts for Millwall.
Bodvarsson provided the pass for an early shot by Jed Wallace, but it was off target and the visitors fell behind when Williams found the bottom corner after receiving the ball from Greg Cunningham.
Lions boss Neil Harris sent on Matt Smith in the second half to provide a more physical presence up front and Ryan Leonard was only just too high from Bodvarsson’s lay-off.
Millwall’s hopes were ended when Dack found the net for the third time this season and, although Ben Thompson tested home keeper Christian Walton after beating two tackles, they could not find a consolation goal and are now without a win in four league games.
A man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of murdering an eight-week-old girl.
The baby was pronounced dead after she was found at a home in the Bermondsey area of south-east London on 26 April.
A post-mortem revealed a number of broken bones and the man, 24, and woman, 21, were held on suspicion of grievous bodily harm in May.
After more tests, the Met said, the pair were further arrested on suspicion of murder.
They have since been released on bail until mid-October as inquiries continue, the force said.