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String of arrests as police investigate fatal stabbings of two teenagers

Arrests made: Police have rounded up suspects in connection with the murders of Jodie Chesney and Ayub Hassan PICTURES: TWITTER

POLICE investigating the fatal stabbings of two 17-year-olds have made a string of arrests.

Scotland Yard today said that a second male had been arrested on suspicion of murdering teenager Jodie Chesney, who was stabbed in the back as she socialised with friends in a park in Harold Hill, east London.

Officers also arrested three males — aged 15, 17 and 18 — on suspicion of murdering the second teenager in West Kensington, in the west of the capital.

The victim was named locally as Ayub Hassan, with a family friend paying tribute to him as a ‘kind and handsome’ boy with ambitions of becoming a barrister.

Jodie was in the park when she was approached by two males and knifed from behind in what police called a ‘savage, evil attack’ at about 9.25pm on March 1.

Scotland Yard gave no age for the male who is in custody after being arrested in London on Friday morning.

A 20-year-old man arrested in Leicester on Tuesday evening remains in custody on suspicion of her murder, police said.

Ayub was found with stab injuries to the chest in Lanfrey Place on Thursday afternoon.

After laying flowers at the scene, family friend Amina Osman said: ‘He had ambitions, he was looking forward to being a barrister. He was looking forward to being a grown-up man.

Tributes: Flowers placed at Lanfrey Place, West Kensington, London, where 17-year-old Ayub Hassan was stabbed and later died in hospital PICTURE: PA

‘He was good with his words, he was very kind and handsome.’

But she said the fatal attack was ‘the fourth attempt on his life’, having previously been found unconscious in a park, run over and had been stabbed on another occasion.

Community support worker Ms Osman said the boy’s mother Siraad collapsed with shock when she heard of his death.

The three suspects remained in custody after being arrested yesterday, the Met said.

Jodie was playing music with five other teenagers in the park when they became aware of two males who left at around 9pm without interacting with them, police said.

About 30 minutes later, the pair returned and one stabbed the girl scout in the back without saying a word, officers added.

Poignant: A floral tribute in memory of Jodie Chesney, close to where she was stabbed to death PICTURE: REX

The latest stabbings will add to growing urgency for action to be taken to tackle knife crime across the UK.

Police have called for a reverse in the cuts to the number of officers under austerity measures, but Chancellor Philip Hammond on Thursday told forces to refocus their existing resources.

Meanwhile, an 18-year-old man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of murdering 26-year-old David Steven Martinez-Valencia, Scotland Yard said.

The Spanish-Colombian is believed to have been fatally stabbed in a home in Leyton, east London, on Wednesday, before dying in the street.

‘At this stage it is understood the victim and suspect were known to each other. The incident is not thought to be gang-related,’ the Met said.