Boy cleared of murder ‘sent video of stabbing motions’ hours after verdict which was seen by victim’s family member

17-year-old will spend eight months in custody for lying to police

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 29 August 2019 14:19 BST
Hundreds attend funeral for stabbed teenager Yousef Makki

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A boy who stabbed his friend to death reportedly made a video of himself making stabbing motions hours after he was found not guilty of murder.

The boy, aged 17, will spend eight months in custody for lying to police after he stabbed Yousef Makki, also 17, in the heart with a flick knife in Hale Barns, Cheshire, on 2 March.

Shortly after he was cleared of murder and manslaughter earlier this month, the defendant, known as Boy A, published a video of himself making stabbing motions while listening to drill music with lyrics about “shanks”, The Guardian reported.

The video was then sent to a member of Mr Makki’s family, who reported it to the judge and Greater Manchester police, who say they have launched an investigation.

The probe will determine whether an offence has been committed under the Malicious Communications Act by whoever sent the video.

On Thursday at Manchester Crown Court, Mr Justice Bryan sentenced Boy A to a 12-month detention and training order for perverting the course of justice and a four-month detention and training order for possessing a bladed article, to run consecutively.

A second 17-year-old defendant, Boy B, was cleared of perverting the course of justice by allegedly lying to police about what he had seen but also admitted possession of a flick knife.

Both were also cleared of conspiracy to commit robbery in the lead-up to Yousef’s death.

Boy B was sentenced to a four-month detention and training order.

Both will be released halfway through their sentences under supervision.

Yousef Makki, 17, was stabbed to death in Hale Barns, Greater Manchester, on 2 March (Greater Manchester Police )
Yousef Makki, 17, was stabbed to death in Hale Barns, Greater Manchester, on 2 March (Greater Manchester Police ) (Greater Manchester Police)

Sentencing, the judge told the pair: “From the evidence I have heard in the course of your trial, it is clear that both of you had an unhealthy fixation with knives which is all too common amongst the youth of today.

“It must stop. There is nothing cool about knives. Their carrying all too often leads to their use and to tragedy, and it is a fallacy that they can keep you safe – very much the reverse, as events all too often demonstrate.”

The jury heard the stabbing was an “accident waiting to happen” as all three youths indulged in “idiotic fantasies” playing middle class gangsters.

Despite the privileged backgrounds of both defendants they led “double lives”, the court heard.

Calling each other “Bro” and “Fam” and the police “Feds”, the defendants and Yousef smoked cannabis, road around on bikes and listened to rap or drill music.

Flowers placed in memory of victim Yousef Makki in Hale Barns
Flowers placed in memory of victim Yousef Makki in Hale Barns (Getty Images)

Yousef, who was from a single-parent Anglo-Lebanese family, had won a scholarship to the prestigious £12,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School.

Boy B purchased the flick knives online in a false name.

The court heard the background to the fatal stabbing on Gorse Bank Road, Hale Barns, was that hours earlier, Boy B arranged a £45 cannabis deal and the teenagers planned to rob the drug dealer, a “soft target”; this was disputed by the defence and not accepted by the jury.

Addressing Boy A, Mr Justice Bryan said the teenager maintained his false account of events throughout the time at the scene and did not correct himself for some 24 hours.

His convincing lies, the judge said, meant he was treated at the scene as a witness not a suspect and undoubtedly wasted valuable police resources.

Ghaleb Makki, the father of the 17-year-old victim, arrives at Manchester Crown Court
Ghaleb Makki, the father of the 17-year-old victim, arrives at Manchester Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

Alistair Webster QC, defending Boy A, said the teenager had “undergone the trauma of a murder trial”.

He said: “He does not seek to underplay the serious nature of his role in the death of his friend.

“He does have genuine insight and regret into the consequences of his actions. He knows that for Yousef’s family and many members of the public a custodial sentence is the only way they will feel that justice will be served. Any sentence he will receive will never be long enough.”

He submitted that his client’s integration back into society had been made more difficult by the “criminal misbehaviour of self-righteous armchair warriors who despite court orders have published details of him and his family”.

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He added: “That has been aggravated by a local member of Parliament – who really should know better – by raising the issue of possible racial basis which will come as a surprise to the ethnically mixed jury. A singularly unfortunate pronouncement based on ignorance of the facts which has simply fanned the flames.”

Following the verdicts, Labour’s Manchester Central MP, Lucy Powell, tweeted: “You do have to ask if these defendants were black, at state school and from, say, moss side whether they would have been acquitted ...”

Additional reporting by PA

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