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.
He held the office between 2008 and 2016.
But it could still summon the prime minister to appear before the oversight committee to answer further questions about his contacts with Ms Arcuri, along with others connected to the case.
The committee has asked for the details and a timeline of all contact between Mr Johnson and Ms Arcuri, including text messages and emails. It does not make any distinction between private and personal correspondence.
According to the Sunday Times, which first reported the story, Ms Arcuri joined trade missions led by Mr Johnson when he was mayor and received thousands of pounds in public money.
It is also understood she attended events on two of the trade missions – to New York and Tel Aviv – despite not officially qualifying for them as a delegate.
The prime minister has denied breaking any rules of conduct and insisted everything was done “entirely in the proper way”.
Ms Arcuri said Mr Johnson was “a really good friend” – but denied the then mayor had shown any “favouritism” towards her.
The code governing conduct at London City Hall states that public office holders should not act in any way to gain benefits for families or friends, and should declare private interests to resolve any conflicts.
Mr Duvall, a Labour member of the London Assembly, said his committee was attempting to “make a judgement call on what the relationship was” before deciding what, if any, action it would take.
Separately, the Independent Office for Police Conduct has been asked to consider whether Mr Johnson, who as mayor was responsible for policing in London, should be investigated for misconduct in public office, a criminal offence.
Current Mayor Sadiq Khan has asked a senior lawyer to review a 2013 decision by London and Partners, the mayor’s promotional agency, to sponsor a conference organised one of Ms Arcuri’s companies, for £10,000.
The London and Partners say they have found no evidence of Mr Johnson’s involvement in the decision.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is, meanwhile, “reviewing” a £100,000 grant made in February this year to Ms Arcuri’s cyber-security business Hacker House.
Luke Hart’s mother and sister were shot dead by his father days after they left the family home in Spalding after years of coercive control.
Mr Hart claims his mother was vilified by the press and courts for not doing enough to look after her family.
He’s now calling on more local authorities to adopt the “Safe and Together” method from America, a new approach to tackling domestic violence which aims to keep the abused parent with their child after they’ve been removed or left the abuser.
Mr Hart called the initiative “really important” as it “helps people focus on who we are trying to protect” which will help both children and those being abused.
Waltham Forest and Hackney councils are the first London councils to adopt the new scheme.
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.
Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo says his team’s dramatic draw at Crystal Palace is the “starting point” for their Premier League recovery.
Wolves appeared set for a fourth consecutive defeat across all competitions until Diogo Jota’s stoppage-time goal rescued a point.
Despite the draw, they remain 19th and remain winless after six top-flight matches but the nature of their fightback – completed in the 96th minute and made more difficult by Romain Saiss’s dismissal for two yellow cards – has given Nuno optimism.
“This is football. We have the spirit, the heart and the character to believe until the end,” said Nuno, whose side have regular Thursday night Europa League matches adding to their fixture list this season.
“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.”
“This is a starting point. What we did in the first half, lets try to do over and over again.”
Leander Dendoncker’s own goal had put Palace in front, with the unfortunate Belgian midfielder diverting Joel Ward’s wayward shot past Rui Patricio.
But Wolves, who enjoyed the better of the first half with Dendoncker, Matt Doherty and Jota all having chances to open the scoring, merited their point.
The equaliser came through Wilfried Zaha’s failure to maintain possession for Palace, Adama Traore galloping clear on the right, with his far-post cross poked home by Jota from four yards as defender Ward lost his balance.
That denied Roy Hodgson’s Palace side, who move up to 12th in the table, a fourth win in five matches against Wolves, a win could also have moved them into the top six.
Wolves show quality needed to get out of trouble
While Nuno has not shown 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 his side rallied suggests Nuno’s team 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.
“I am bitterly disappointed,” Hodgson said.
“It feels like a defeat. I didn’t expect them to get such a clear goal chance. 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.”
Man of the match – Diogo Jota (Wolves)
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”.
British Airways pilots have called off the next strike in their dispute, which had been scheduled for 27 September.
Last week, a two-day stoppage called by the pilots’ union, Balpa, forced BA to cancel almost all its flights.
The strike followed failed negotiations between the union and the airline over a pay offer of 11.5% over three years.
Balpa said the strikes on 9 and 10 September had demonstrated the anger and resolve of pilots.
It was now time for a period of reflection before the dispute “escalates further and irreparable damage is done to the brand”, the union said.
A spokesman for BA said: “We have just received this news. We are considering the implications and we will give updates in due course.”
British Airways had already started cancelling flights for 27 September last Thursday – just outside the 14-day window when the company must pay passengers compensation if their travel is cancelled.
The airline has said it will try to reinstate as many of the flights as possible, but it is not yet clear if they will all be put back on the schedule for 27 September.
British Airways said it will be in touch with customers to let them know.
The airline was forced to cancel 1,700 flights last week during the pilots’ walkout over pay.
Some 200,000 passengers had to change their travel plans because of the strikes.
Balpa said it hoped BA would “now change its approach and negotiate seriously” with a view to ending the dispute.
Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: “Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this dispute and with no sign of that from BA, the pilots have decided to take the responsible course.
“In a genuine attempt at establishing a time out for common sense to prevail, we have lifted the threat of the strike on 27 September.”
However, Balpa said it retained the right to announce further strike dates.
What’s the row about?
BA had offered pilots an 11.5% pay rise over three years in July, but this was rejected.
Balpa said that its members had taken lower pay rises and made sacrifices during tougher times for the airline.
It said that now BA’s financial performance had improved – its parent company IAG reported a 9% rise in profits last year – pilots should benefit.
BA said the 11.5% offer was “fair and generous”.
It has already been accepted by Unite and the GMB, whose members include BA cabin crew, ground staff and engineers.
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.”
West Bromwich Albion maintained their unbeaten Championship record as they came from behind to rescue a point with a draw in the south west London sunshine at Fulham.
Both goals owed a good bit to fortune, as Semi Ajayi’s controversial late headed equaliser cancelled out a left-foot attempted chipped cross from Anthony Knockaert which deceived Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone in flight and dipped in at the far post.
Knockaert’s 49th-minute goal – his second in three home games – looked likely to earn all three points for the hosts at Craven Cottage.
But, from deadline signing Matheus Pereira’s 80th-minute corner, home keeper Marcus Bettinelli was distracted by Albion striker Charlie Austin attempting to lay his hands on him on the line.
The indignant Bettinelli and could only parry the ball tamely, allowing Nigerian international Ajayi to nod in at the far post for his first goal for the club.
Slaven Bilic’s Baggies have gone behind in six of their seven games and yet still not lost in the league – earning them the most points from losing positions in the Championship this season (12).
But Fulham were the better side for the first hour and went closer to breaking the deadlock before the break.
Tom Cairney evaded the linesman’s flag to get free inside the box and latch onto Harrison Reed’s pass, but his left-foot strike was touched onto the bar by the outstretched fingertips of Johnstone.
Reed was then also denied by the alert Baggies keeper, who reacted sharply to keep out his close-range header.
Austin, still to score his first league goal for Albion, volleyed over, then could only direct a tame header straight at Bettinelli.
And the visitors were still second best before the second-half introduction just before the hour of their first two substitutes Filip Krovinovic and Kyle Edwards, followed by Hal Robson-Kanu.
Albion even went close to a winner right on 90 minutes but Darnell Furlong’s header flew wide.
Fulham boss Scott Parker:
“I’m disappointed with the result and the way the match ended because for 60 minutes we controlled the game.
I don’t think anyone would have begrudged us if we had been 2-0 up at half-time. But then we stopped doing it. We went from front to back very early and played into the hands of a team that has a lot of pace on the break.
“We kept turning the ball over and if we turn games into basketball games, we are going to be beaten because we haven’t got the players to play like that.
“I want the players to understand the best way was for us to be successful is how we played in the first hour.”
West Bromwich Albion head coach Slaven Bilic told BBC WM:
“We knew we would have to defend aggressively with numbers but, for the first hour, we lost the majority of the 50-50 balls.
“Then we change the mindset to what would we wanted it to be at the start and then we could smell that it was only a matter of time before we capitalised.
“They ended up more happy to hear the final whistle, which means something, especially here away, but we have to be that way from the very first minute.
“We were in their box with numbers and Semi was hungry to score. The lad is totally focused. He has been marvellous for us.”
|Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Lord’s (day three):|
|Durham 147& 191: A Robson 64; Harris 3-43 Finn 3-49|
|Middlesex 143 & 151: S Robson 765; Carse 6-26|
|Durham (19 opts) beat Middlesex (3 pts) by 44 runs|
Durham boosted their promotion chances and dented Middlesex’s hopes of a place in Division Two’s top three with a 44-run victory at Lord’s.
Pace bowler Brydon Carse took a career-best 6-26 as the home side were bowled out for 151, having been set a target of 196.
Resuming on 21-0, they lost three wickets in the first nine overs of play, including skipper Dawid Malan.
Sam Robson made 65, but Carse cleaned up the tail to seal Durham’s win.
The north-east county picked up 19 points to move into the third and final promotion place, although results in other games will decide whether they stay there, and put them 27 clear of Middlesex, who only earned three.
And they may need to win their last two games against unbeaten leaders Lancashire and Derbyshire to have a chance of returning to Division One in 2020.
Durham were soon among the wickets at start of play with Nick Gubbins and Stevie Eskinazi quickly back in the pavilion, followed by Malan, who was lbw to Ben Raine.
Robson put on 51 with Max Holden, and reached his half-century off 87 balls, only to edge Rushworth to the keeper to leave Middlesex on 107-5.
And after Carse had George Scott caught behind for 14 and bowled James Harris second ball, Durham had the match in their hands.
John Simpson made 15 before chopping a ball from the paceman into his stumps and Carse ended the game by comprehensively bowling Tim Murtagh.
Durham Coach James Franklin told BBC Newcastle:
“It’s been a huge occasion for a number of guys in our team, playing their first game at Lord’s and they have really embraced it. Ultimately they have thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
“We have two big games to go now, with Northampton away on Monday first. I think the majority of the division has exciting cricket left.
We have eight big days coming but it’s what you want. You want to be in contention and it’s about who can hold their nerve and take their opportunities.”