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Boy died in row over £45 worth of cannabis court hears

Yousef Makki Photo: Greater Manchester Police

A grammar school pupil was stabbed in the heart by his teenage friend after a botched attempt to rob a drug dealer of £45 worth of cannabis, a court heard.

Yousef Makki, 17, a pupil at prestigious Manchester Grammar School died at the hands of his 17-year-old friend in Hale Barns, a leafy Cheshire village, a jury at Manchester Crown Court heard.

The alleged killer, Boy A, has pleaded not guilty to murder and also denies conspiracy to robbery in Hale Barns on March 2 2019.

He has admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice and possession of a flick knife.

A second youth, Boy B, also aged 17 and a mutual friend of both the defendant and his alleged killer, denies conspiracy to robbery and perverting the course of justice.

He has pleaded guilty to possession of a flick knife.

Neither defendant can be named because they are aged under 18.

Their friend, Yousef Makki, was from an Anglo-Lebanese family from Burnage, Manchester, who had won a scholarship to attend the prestigious £12,000-a-year grammar school in Manchester, and had dreamed of becoming a heart surgeon.

Yousef's father sat watching from the public gallery above the dock where the defendants, both wearing suits and ties, were seated, as Nick Johnson QC, opened the case for the prosecution.

The defendant's parents and other relatives sat below the public gallery behind the dock.

Mr Johnson said the fatal incident on Gorse Bank Road in Hale Barns, happened around 6.35pm on March 2, with the emergency services called "very soon" afterwards.

But when police arrived both Boy A and Boy B lied to the officers, telling them they had not seen what happened and suggested a small car had been seen nearby at the time.

The jury heard earlier that day Boy B had called another youth who agreed to supply an eighth of cannabis for #45.

Around 4pm Makki and the defendants were recorded on CCTV at The Square Shopping centre and Booths Supermarket in Hale Barns before walking to the meeting to pick up the drugs along a dirt track nearby.

Around 5pm the dealer pulled up in a grey VW Polo and saw Boy B was wearing an all-black tracksuit and carrying a Louis Vuitton man-bag.

Boy A was also dressed in black and a third youth, Yousef, wearing glasses, a black North Face jacket and grey Stone Island cargo pants was on a black road bike.

The dealer wound down his car window with both defendants standing by the side of the car, Boy A closest, with Yousef standing a few metres further back on a patch of mud.

The dealer got the impression Boy B was shocked he had turned up with two others in the car.

He also thought the defendants had been smoking cannabis.

Boy B asked for the cannabis he had ordered but said he did not have the means to pay but the dealer refused to hand over the drugs.

Boy A then began to pull at the driver's door, ordering him out of the car, but Boy B and Yousef then rode off on their bicycles.

As the other two rode away, the drug dealer noticed Boy A was reaching into the waistband of his trousers.

The dealer thought he was reaching for a knife.

As events later proved, notably, Boy A's knife had a belt attachment on it.

– Nick Johnson QC, prosecutor

The two other youths got out of the car and Boy A was taken to the ground and punched before they were called off and he managed to run away, leaving his "very expensive" bike behind, which was thrown over a nearby hedge.

Shortly after the dealer, driving away, saw Yousef, asking him, "why were you trying to rob me" - and was told it was Boy B's idea.

Boy B later rang the dealer to apologise for trying to rob him, saying he thought the dealer was someone else who would be an easy target.