A man accused of murdering Jodie Chesney has denied “creeping up” behind her in the park where she was stabbed.
Jodie, 17, was attacked as she socialised with friends in Amy’s Park, Harold Hill, east London, on 1 March.
Svenson Ong-a-Kwie told the Old Bailey “he couldn’t see a thing” in the dark and claimed he “could not sneak”.
The 19-year-old also said a knife found on top of a fridge in the room of a hostel where he was staying was used for cooking.
He told the court: “My mum gave it to me so I could cook food. The hostel only had butter knives.”
The teenager denied a suggestion from prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC that he went to Amy’s Park “to bang out [take out] on his ops [a rival]”.
Mr Ong-a-Kwie previously told jurors he set fire to his clothes after he knew Jodie had been stabbed to death.
He admitted throwing his iPhone in a bin and dumping the trainers he was wearing on the night of the attack.
But Mr Ong-a-Kwie denied stabbing Jodie and insisted he had “never” been violent to anybody.
Instead, he blamed a co-defendant – a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Mr Aylett suggested Mr Ong-a-Kwie and the boy got out of the car “quite far away” from the park so that they could “creep up” on the group and “take them by surprise”.
“They didn’t notice you until you got to the gate of the park,” Mr Aylett said.
“You can’t sneak up on anyone at that park,” Mr Ong-a-Kwie replied.
Mr Ong-a-Kwie, along with Manuel Petrovic, 20, the 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, all deny murder.
The trial continues.