Youth accused of lying 'to save own skin' at Yousef Makki inquest

Yousef Makki

A fomer public schoolboy cleared of murder was accused of lying "to save your own skin" at the inquest into the death of a teenage "peacemaker" he stabbed.

Joshua Molnar stabbed his friend Yousef Makki in the heart with a flick knife after a row in Hale Barns, Cheshire, on March 2, 2019.

Both aged 17 at the time, Molnar claimed there was a "coming together" after Mr Makki pulled a flick knife out on him first and he took out his own knife.

He claimed self-defence and was cleared of manslaughter and murder by a jury following a four-week trial at Manchester Crown Court in July 2019.

Joshua Molnar

Molnar and another youth involved in the incident, Adam Chowdhary, had led double lives, playing "middle class gangsters" listening to Drill music, smoking cannabis and carrying knives despite both coming from wealthy Cheshire families and living in leafy, low crime area, the trial heard.

Mr Makki, from a single-parent family from south Manchester, won a scholarship to £12,000 a year Manchester Grammar School where Chowdhary was also a pupil.

Peter Weatherby QC, representing the family of Yousef, put it to Mr Molnar: "From the crime scene until today, you have been prepared to say things that will save your own skin, rather than the truth?"

Molnar replied: "No. I did not do that at all."

Adam Chowdary and Yousef Makki

The court heard Chowdhary had bought two flick knives from an online website for him and Yousef and took them out that day to impress Molnar.

Chowdhary arranged a cannabis drug deal but it ended with Molnar being beaten up and his £2,000 bike thrown in a hedge and lost - while Chowdhary fled and Yousef stood by.

They then came to blows and the knives were produced, Molnar told the inquest, with Yousef accidentally being stabbed in the heart.

Mr Weatherby suggested CCTV showed in the last seconds before the stabbing he was arguing with Chowdhary and Yousef is seen to run towards them to act as peacemaker.

He said: "He ended up getting stabbed because he wanted you all to end on good terms?"

Yousef Makki

Alison Mutch, senior coroner for Greater Manchester South, at that point warned Molnar it was his legal right not to have to answer a question if it incriminated himself.

Mr Weatherby continued: "The reality is you stabbed him because you were angry about what happened and you were in some confrontation with Adam at the time?"

At the crime scene, Molnar admitted lying to police suggesting, "black boys" had been causing trouble in the area and a silver hatchback car had been involved before later admitting he had stabbed Yousef.

And he suggested Yousef was "hot tempered" and could be aggressive.

Mr Weatherby added: "You were painting a picture of him to save your own skin, weren't you?"

Molnar replied, "Er, no."

Mr Weatherby added: "Yousef had been the peacemaker, the calm person and at the end of it, he lost his life."

Earlier, Chowdhary said he was the distance of two or three houses behind his friends but did not see or hear anything in the lead up or the actual fatal incident on Gorse Bank Road in Hale Barns, as he was distracted by his phone.

John Mulvihill, a Detective Inspector at Greater Manchester Police, now retired, was called to the scene and soon after changed the status of Molnar and Chowdhary from witnesses to suspects.

Molnar was jailed for 16 months for possession of a knife and perverting the course of justice by initially lying to police at the scene about what had happened.

Chowdhary was given a four-month detention order after admitting possession of a flick knife but cleared of perverting the course of justice.

The inquest was adjourned until Monday.