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Teenager cleared of lying to police about Yousef Makki stabbing wants anonymity extension

Credit: Family Photo

A 17-year-old cleared of lying to police about the fatal stabbing of Yousef Makki has made a bid to the High Court to protect his identity.

Yousef Makki was knifed in the heart by his friend, Joshua Molnar, now 18, during a fight in Hale Barns, on March 2 2019.

Molnar was cleared of murder and manslaughter following a four-week trial at Manchester Crown Court in July, but admitted possession of a knife and lying to police and was given 16 months in custody.

Molnar stood trial alongside a 17-year-old known as "Boy B", who was acquitted of perverting the course of justice but detained for four months for possession of a flick knife.

Boy B's anonymity expires when he turns 18 this month, but he wants to extend it until he finishes his education in November 2021.

Joshua Molnar leaving court after being acquitted of murder and manslaughter. Credit: PA

At a hearing in London on Tuesday, his barrister, Adam Wolanski QC, said Boy B is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and that the publication of his identity would be "catastrophic for him".

Mr Wolanski said he is "only seeking a temporary order", adding: "One day, this name is going to come out."

He told the court: "The evidence shows that there is a real risk that, if the claimant is identified now as 'Boy B', this will cause serious harm to this vulnerable boy's welfare.

"Specifically, it will result in him having to move school, with a highly uncertain prospect of finding another school and of suffering serious psychological difficulty."

He added that Boy B had "repeatedly expressed profound remorse for committing the offence".

Mr Wolanski said that "community feeling" about Yousef's killing was still "very high", adding: "There is still a very heated discussion and debate which is going on about the events of March 2019 and the trial that followed, and that is unlikely to abate any time soon".

The hearing before Mrs Justice Steyn, who has indicated that she will reserve her judgment until the end of January, continues.