Teenager ‘deleted 47 items from his phone records’ after schoolboy stabbed

Yousef Makki was stabbed in the heart on the evening of March 2, 2019, in Hale Barns.

Pat Hurst
Monday 16 October 2023 17:04 BST
Yousef Ghaleb Makki from Burnage (Family handout)
Yousef Ghaleb Makki from Burnage (Family handout) (PA Media)

A teenager arrested after a 17-year-old grammar school boy was stabbed to death in an upmarket Cheshire village deleted 47 items from his phone records before it was seized by police, an inquest heard.

Adam Chowdhary was best friends with Yousef Makki, 17, from Burnage, Manchester, who had won a scholarship to £12,000 a year Manchester Grammar School, where the pair met.

Yousef was stabbed in the heart by their mutual friend Joshua Molnar on the evening of March 2, 2019, in Hale Barns.

Ex-public schoolboy Molnar, from a wealthy Cheshire family, claimed self-defence and was 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.

Chowdhary, 17, at the time, was with both of them at the time of the stabbing and had bought the knife used in the fatal incident. He told police he did not see what happened.

He deleted items from his phone before it was seized by police and gave a “disingenuous at best, dishonest at worst” account to officers at the scene, the inquest at Stockport Coroner’s Court heard on Monday.

It is the second inquest into Yousef’s death to be held, following the High Court quashing the conclusions of the first one in November 2021 and ordering a fresh inquest.

Alison Mutch, senior coroner for south Manchester, had ruled out both unlawful killing and accidental death as reasons for Yousef’s death, saying she could not establish the precise sequence of events leading up to the fatal incident.

But Yousef’s family brought a judicial review challenging the coroner’s finding that there was an insufficiency of evidence on the “central issue”, of whether the killing was unlawful.

Molnar told his criminal trial that knives were produced after they argued and there was a “coming together”.

Body-worn footage from police officers was played to the hearing on the first day of the new inquest, showing the aftermath of the incident.

In it Molnar tells police he does not know how Yousef was stabbed and suggests a silver hatchback was in the area and drove off at speed.

Chowdhary is seen in the footage suggesting to officers he was pre-occupied with his phone and the first he became aware something was wrong was when Yousef, bleeding from his wound, said to him, “look what happened”, and lifted his shirt.

Chowdhary also mentions to the officer a grey Polo or Corsa car near the scene and the attackers have, “got off”.

Coroner Geraint Williams suggested: “Mr Chowdhary is being disingenuous at best, dishonest at worst.”

John Mulvihill, a retired detective inspector for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said before Chowdhary had his phone seized 47 items, call records or messages, were deleted from it, and agreed it was a “concerted effort”.

Peter Weatherby KC, representing the Makki family, asked the witness: “There’s far from innocent reasons why anyone might delete call histories in these circumstances?”

Tom Coke-Smyth, representing Chowdhary then interjected saying: “That’s comment.”

Mr Weatherby did not repeat the question and moved on, asking the former detective why he changed the two youths’ status from witnesses to suspects.

Mr Mulvihill said: “Straight road, well lit. It was difficult to understand why or how they had not seen anything given the close proximity to Yousef.”

Molnar was jailed for 16 months for perverting the course of justice and carrying a knife in public, after his trial.

Chowdhary was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice and given a four-month detention order after admitting possession of a flick knife.

The inquest hearing was adjourned until Tuesday morning.

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