A man accused of murdering a 14-year-old boy sold drugs for a London gang so he could “survive”, and would carry a knife for “safety”, a court has heard.
Jaden Moodie was knocked off a moped and stabbed to death in Leyton, north-east London, on 8 January.
Ayoub Majdouline, who is accused of being one of five men who carried out the attack, told the Old Bailey he had sold drugs since he was 16 years old.
The 19-year-old, from Wembley, denies murder and possession of a knife.
The court has been told Jaden was selling drugs for the Beaumont Crew, also known as Let’s Get Rich, when he was attacked by a group of men who were looking for a rival gang member to attack.
Jurors heard Mr Majdouline had a troubled upbringing in Leyton and his parents had split up when he was seven.
While living with his mother, he was abused by his stepfather so went to live with his aunt, the court was told.
However, that relationship broke down and he ended up in foster care. His father also died in 2015.
The court was told he had been identified as a victim of modern slavery by the National Crime Agency (NCA) over concerns he was being exploited by older youths.
Giving evidence, Mr Majdouline said he sold drugs “for and with” the Mali Boys gang, including as part of county lines dealing in Basingstoke, Ipswich and Andover.
He told jurors he was previously jailed for drug and knife offences but went straight back to dealing “to survive”
“At the time I did not feel like I was being supported by social services and I never lived by myself before,” he said.
He added that he got “confused” sorting out jobseekers’ allowance when he turned 18 and dealing had been “the only way I knew how to make money”.
Explaining why he carried a knife, Mr Majdouline said he had been “sliced” on one occasion in Basingstoke so carried a blade “for my own safety”.
The trial continues.
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.
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.