A 16-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with the murder of 17-year-old girl scout Jodie Chesney.
The suspect, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared for a short hearing at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court in east London on Monday.
Jodie had been playing music with friends near a children’s playground at Harold Hill, Romford, when she was knifed from behind.
Manuel Petrovic, 20, and the boy are charged with the murder of Jodie on March 1.
Purple ribbons were tied to trees and railings outside the magistrates court and also at the Old Bailey, where Petrovic appeared on Monday.
The 16-year-old stood in the dock wearing a grey Puma hoodie and wiped tears from his face as the charge was read out.
He was flanked by three security staff and spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.
Chairing the bench, Greg Nottage said: “I know you’re looking very upset but listen carefully, this matter will be sent to the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) tomorrow.”
Ahead of Petrovic’s first Crown Court appearance, ribbons in Jodie’s favourite colour were tied to the entrance of the Old Bailey in her memory.
Petrovic spoke only to confirm his name and Croatian nationality when he appeared by video link from Pentonville prison.
Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC set a three-week trial for September 2 and a plea hearing on May 28.
At the end of the brief hearing, the judge remanded Petrovic, of Highfield Road, Romford, into custody.
A post-mortem examination gave the cause of Jodie’s death as trauma and haemorrhage.
An 18-year-old man from Romford is being held in police custody on suspicion of murder.
A 50-year-old man and 38-year-old woman, both from Dagenham, east London, and a 17-year-old boy, were also being held on suspicion of assisting an offender.