A 17-year-old boy who was cleared of murdering grammar school pupil Yousef Makki, pictured, will be sentenced for lying to police today
A teenager who knifed a grammar school pupil to death has been locked up today for 16 months after admitting lying to the police – weeks after he was cleared of murder.
Yousef Makki, 17, was stabbed to death with a flick knife ordered online in the upmarket village of Hale Barns, Cheshire, in March.
The 17-year-old who killed him – known only as Boy A – was controversially cleared of murder and manslaughter after a jury accepted the incident was self defence following a four-week trial at Manchester Crown Court.
It prompted protests from Yousef’s family and friends, who held a 150-strong demonstration outside the court yesterday to demand ‘justice’ – and then ‘boycotted’ the sentencing today.
The 17-year-old, known as Boy A, and a friend, also 17, called Boy B, were also cleared of conspiracy to rob. Both are from privileged backgrounds and neither can be named because of their age.
But Boy A admitted perverting the course of justice and both pleaded guilty to possessing flick knives bought online. Boy A was sentenced to 16 months detention while B received four months.
It came after scores of people supported the family at a protest on the court steps yesterday, holding up photos of the teen, who had won a scholarship to the prestigious £12,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School, with the slogan ‘Justice for Yousef Makki’ written on them.
Yousef’s family and friends staged a protest at the steps of Manchester Crown Court yesterday, pictured, to demand justice for the teenager after the 17-year-old, known as Boy A, was cleared of murder and manslaughter by a jury
The crowd held up pictures of Yousef, pictured, demanding justice, while they also sang ‘We Shall Overcome’. Pictured centre is Yousef’s father Ghaleb
Yousef was from a single-parent Anglo-Lebanese family from Burnage, south Manchester.
Yesterday his father Ghaleb and mother Debbie both gave speeches in his memory to the crowd of 150 people, vowing never to give up fighting for their son.
The teenager’s ten-year-old nephew also spoke out, thanking the crowd for coming and ‘being part of the family’.
The crowd were also given wristbands and sand ‘We Shall Overcome’ at the powerful demonstration.
At the trial, Boy A told the jury he acted in self-defence after Yousef punched him and pulled out a knife.
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’.
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.
They would post videos on social media, making threats and posing with ‘shanks’, or knives.
Boy A admitted perverting the course of justice while both admitted possessing a knife and they will be sentenced at 10.30am today.
The court previously heard Boy A and his friend Boy B, also 17, had ‘indulged in fantasies’ of being ‘middle class gangsters’ and had ordered flick knives online. Pictured is the protest at the court yesterday
Yousef’s parents were also at the demonstration and told the 150-strong crowd they ‘would never give up fighting for their son’
Previously, the court heard how hours before the stabbing, Boy B arranged a £45 cannabis deal and the teenagers planned to rob the drug dealer, a ‘soft target’.
But the robbery went wrong and Yousef and Boy B fled, leaving Boy A to take a beating.
Boy A then later pushed Yousef who called him a ‘p****’ and punched him in the face.
He told the jury Yousef pulled out a knife and he responded by also taking out a knife and his victim was accidentally stabbed.
Boy A broke down in tears telling the jury: ‘I got more annoyed. I [took] it out straight away, I don’t really know what I did, kind of lifted my arm up. I didn’t realise anything had happened at first.’
As the victim lay dying, the panicking defendants hid the knives in bushes and down a drain, dialled 999 and tried to staunch the blood pouring out of Yousef’s chest wound.
A passing heart surgeon performed emergency surgery in the back of an ambulance but Yousef suffered catastrophic blood loss.
Yousef’s mother Deborah Makki, a psychiatric nurse, planted a tree in his memory on the grounds of his school in Manchester earlier this year
Floral tributes left by friends and family at the scene in the wake of Yousef’s death
They told police scrambled to the scene they had found Yousef stabbed and suggested others were responsible.
The jury also saw social media videos of Boy A posing and brandishing knives and machetes.
A statement released by the family of boy A following the jury’s decision said: ‘Obviously we welcome the verdicts. The jury came to proper conclusions on the evidence.
‘There are, however, no winners in this case.
‘Yousef’s death was a tragedy and our son will have to live with the responsibility of his role for the rest of his life.
‘But the Makki family’s loss and hurt are infinitely greater. Nothing we can say can make up for that or change it.’