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Stabbed boy inquest shelved amid concern over ambulance delay

Yousef bled to death after being stabbed in the heart in Hale Barns, Trafford, on Saturday, March 2 Credit: MEN Syndication

The pre-inquest hearing into the death of a grammar school boy stabbed to death in a leafy Cheshire village has been adjourned while a possible delay in the calling of an ambulance for the stricken teenager is investigated.

Yousef Makki, 17, a scholarship boy at Manchester Grammar School, was knifed in the heart by his friend, former public schoolboy Joshua Molnar, 18, during a fight in upmarket Hale Barns, Cheshire on March 2.

He collapsed by a tree and was treated by a passing surgeon before an ambulance arrived but medics were unable to save his life.

The pre-inquest hearing on Friday was adjourned after his family and their lawyers asked the coroner for more time to gather further information and also take a statement from a new witness, Stockport Coroner's Court heard.

Molnar, from a wealthy Cheshire family, told a jury he acted in self-defence after Yousef pulled a knife on him.

He admitted possession of a knife and perverting the course of justice by initially lying to police about what had happened, but was acquitted of murder and manslaughter by a jury after a trial at Manchester Crown Court in July.

He was given 16 months in custody.

The inquest into the death of Yousef was opened and adjourned until the conclusion of the trial of Molnar and a second youth involved, boy B, 17, also convicted of possession of a knife, who cannot be named due to his age.

He was cleared of perverting the course of justice.

Yousef Makki Credit: Greater Manchester Police

At the resumed pre-inquest hearing on Friday Yousef's mother, Debbie Makki and his sister Jade Akoum, attended with their lawyer where Alison Mutch, senior coroner for Manchester South, said, in light of the trial conclusion, she had to make a decision on whether a full inquest needed to go ahead or not.

Ms Mutch told the hearing, if an inquest is to take place, it cannot come to a conclusion "inconsistent with the findings of a criminal court".

The family asked the coroner to adjourn the hearing so they can gather further information and also said a new witness and possibly new CCTV has come to light.

Ciara Bartlam, representing the Makki family said they are, "well aware" an inquest was not about "blame" but added: "The issue for the family is, there has been criminal proceedings but there's a period of time, it appears, that Yousef having been stabbed, there was a delay in having an ambulance being called."

She added that at a family vigil this week at Manchester Cathedral Yousef's sister Jade, was approached by a man, Paul Hughes, who worked as a personal security guard for David Beckham and who runs a private security firm employed by wealthy residents locally to patrol the streets.

Ms Bartlam said: "He had particular concern that Yousef walked around a quarter of a mile before he got to the tree and before an ambulance was called.

"He said he viewed CCTV footage which suggests there was some period of time between the stabbing and the point in time he arrived at the tree.

"An issue for the family is whether an ambulance was or should have been called earlier."

Ms Bartlam requested a delay so a statement can be taken from Mr Hughes and the CCTV looked at.

She also requested the statements given to the police from the passing surgeon who helped to tend to Yousef, the statements made by Molnar to police, transcripts of two 999 calls and transcripts of the police interviews of boy B to be provided to the family's legal team for them to consider.

The coroner also said she will consider a request from the Makki family's lawyers, whether boy B should be asked to make a statement.

The hearing was adjourned until December 20.

Outside court Jade Akoum said: "We have a lot of unanswered questions.

"This could help us answer those questions that we did not get answered during the criminal trial."

Yousef's mother added: "If you don't ever find out what happened you will just be wondering for the rest of your days.

"If we get these answers about what happened on that night it's a little bit of closure in your mind."