Fresh inquest launched into stabbing of Hale Barns teenager Yousef Makki

A fresh inquest is to be held into the death of teenager Yousef Makki who was stabbed to death in an upmarket village.

Yousef died in March 2019 after being stabbed by ex-public schoolboy, and friend, Joshua Molnar who was 17 at the time.

On Friday, 20 January, High Court judges in Manchester quashed the original inquest findings, in which a coroner ruled out both unlawful killing and accidental death as reasons for Yousef’s death.

  • Speaking outside of Manchester's High Court, Yousef Makki's sister Jade Akoum said she was feeling a "mixture of emotions".

During a trial, which took place three months after the incident, Molnar claimed self-defence and was cleared of murder and manslaughter

Yousef’s family, from Burnage in Manchester, brought a judicial review in 2022 after the first inquest.

  • Yousef's family barrister "delighted" with news of a fresh inquest.

They challenged the coroner’s finding that there was insufficient evidence on the “central issue” of whether the killing was unlawful.

Peter Weatherby KC, representing the family of Yousef, also questioned the “fanciful” version of events presented as having happened on the night.

On Friday, Lady Justice Macur and Mr Justice Fordham, handed down their ruling at the High Court in Manchester, quashing the conclusion of the first inquest and ordering a fresh inquest with a different coroner.

Following a week-long inquest in November 2021, Alison Mutch, Senior Coroner for Greater Manchester South, concluded she could not be sure of the “precise sequence of events” and ruled out both unlawful killing and accidental death as a conclusion.

Mr Weatherby said there were “discrepancies” between evidence heard at the trial and the inquest.

He said during the inquest Molnar said he was not sure who produced the knife first, but had told the jury in his trial Yousef took his knife out first, and claimed self-defence.

He also questioned the version of events about what happened directly after the stabbing.

Mr Weatherby added: “It would be fanciful to suggest he’s took it (his knife) out, been stabbed, then retracted the knife and put it in an inside pocket, clutched his chest and said ‘he’s stabbed me’.

“This is a death caused by an unlawful weapon brandished in the street by Joshua Molnar and unless there was some terrible accident or unless Yousef Makki put him in fear, this was an unlawful killing and the coroner simply fails to address those issues in her decision.”

Joshua Molnar, was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter following a trial at Manchester Crown Court in 2019.

Yousef, from a single-parent family from south Manchester, won a scholarship to the £12,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School, where Chowdhary was also a pupil and they became good friends.

Along with Molnar they acted out fantasies of being “middle class gangsters” and toyed with weapons, the trial heard.

Chowdhary had bought two flick knives from an online website, Wish, for himself and Yousef, and told police he did not see what had happened between Yousef and Molnar.

Chowdhary was cleared of perverting the course of justice by the jury at his trial but admitted possession of a flick knife and was given a four-month detention order.

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