Teenager cleared of murder told 'convincing lies', the Yousef Makki inquest is told

A teenager cleared of murder told "convincing" lies, a police officer told the inquest into the death of a grammar school boy he stabbed to death.

Joshua Molnar knifed Yousef Makki, both 17 at the time, in the heart during a row in Hale Barns, Cheshire, in the early evening of March 2 2019.

Molnar was later cleared of murder and manslaughter by a jury but jailed for perverting the course of justice by lying to police at the scene and carrying a knife in public.

Joshua Molnar

Body-worn footage from the officers scrambled to the scene of the stabbing was played at Yousef's inquest at Stockport Coroner's Court on Wednesday.

On the night Yousef died he had been with his friends Adam Chowdhary and Molnar, both from wealthy Cheshire families, who liked to play "middle-class gangsters", their criminal trial heard.

Yousef, from south Manchester, won a scholarship to £12,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School where Chowdhary was a pupil.

A row developed between the boys, who all carried knives that day, and Yousef was stabbed by Molnar. He claimed self-defence after Yousef pulled a knife on him and he was acquitted of murder and manslaughter by a jury following a four-week trial in July 2019.

The aftermath of the incident, when police and paramedics rushed to the scene and gave emergency treatment to Yousef, along with a passing doctor, was played to the hearing.

Tinged in blue light, the footage showed a huddle of police and paramedics around Yousef, lying on the floor of the tree-lined street, as attempts were made to save his life.

Some news organisations have have asked for the footage to be made public, with a decision from the coroner pending.

Yousef Makki

The footage showed Sergeant Nicholas Bamber, of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), taking charge of the at times chaotic crime scene, giving orders, securing the site and questioning Molnar, asking: "How's it happened?"

Molnar replied: "I don't know." He goes on to suggest a silver hatchback car may have been involved.

Sgt Bamber then uses his police radio to relay the information for local patrols to keep a lookout.

He continues: "Your mate has been seriously injured here. Who has done this?"

Molnar replies: "I don't know."

Sgt Bamber then points at Chowdhary and says: "Where are you going?" He tells another officer to separate the two.

The officer continues: "This is what I need. The 100% truth mate. Why has it happened?"

Molnar says he does not know and mentions "black guys" he has had trouble with in the past.

Molnar later admitted he and Yousef had had a row and there was a "coming together" as both held knives and Yousef was stabbed in the heart.

Alison Mutch, senior coroner for south Manchester, asked the officer: "Would you say the explanation given to you at the scene was quite convincing?"

Sgt Bamber replied: "Yes, that's correct. It was just how detailed it was. There was nothing to suggest it was untrue."

But John Mulvihill, a now retired GMP detective inspector, told the hearing that after the initial police response, he was called to the scene and soon after changed the status of Molnar and Chowdhary from witnesses to suspects.

He told the inquest: "I went on to the street. It was a long straight road. The light was good. It is clear they were telling untruths.

"They were the last people to be with Yousef, prior to his death. It was a wide, straight road.

"It was difficult to comprehend how a knife attack could take place without either boys seeing or hearing anything, given they were in close proximity to Yousef at the time.

"They were clearly lying and had to be treated as suspects."

Chowdhary told police he did not see what had happened and was acquitted of perverting the course of justice.

He was given a four-month detention order after admitting possession of a flick knife.

Molnar admitted possession of a knife and perverting the course of justice by initially lying to police about what had happened, and was given 16 months in custody.

Both are due to give evidence at the inquest on Friday.

The inquest was adjourned until Thursday morning.