A coroner has determined that the death of schoolboy Yousef Makki, who was fatally stabbed by his friend Joshua Molnar in Hale Barns in 2019, was an unlawful killing. This decision comes in contrast to a previous inquest which had not definitively concluded on the nature of Yousef’s death.
Molnar had previously been acquitted of both murder and manslaughter charges after claiming he acted in self-defense during a trial just three months after the incident. However, the Makki family, based in Burnage, Manchester, disputed these findings, leading to a 2022 judicial review and the eventual ordering of a second inquest.
Coroner Geraint Williams, presenting his conclusions at Stockport Coroner’s Court, stated that Molnar’s actions were tantamount to manslaughter, and asserted that Yousef did not have a knife when he died. Williams also emphasized that Molnar’s use of the knife was unnecessary and excessive.
As the verdict was read out, the courtroom was filled with emotions, particularly from Yousef’s family. Authorities, including the Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service, are set to revisit the evidence after this new finding.
According to The Guardian During the initial trial, Molnar had narrated that a disagreement had ensued between them, leading to Yousef drawing a flick knife first, which resulted in Molnar defending himself, leading to a fatal wound. Another youth present, Adam Chowdhary, claimed unawareness of the events as he was engrossed in his phone. Interestingly, Chowdhary had sourced the flick knives online.
All three teenagers, including the victim, were 17 at the time. Yousef, who was on a scholarship at Manchester Grammar School, became acquainted with Molnar and Chowdhary, both from affluent Cheshire backgrounds.
Yousef’s family’s lawyers pointed out that the only indication of Yousef having a knife came from Molnar. Lisa Judge, representing Molnar, mentioned that though he confessed to providing false information after the incident, any inconsistencies were a result of trauma.
The original trial portrayed Yousef’s death as a tragic result of privileged teenagers emulating gangster lifestyles. Molnar received a 16-month jail term for knife possession and perverting justice, while Chowdhary was handed a four-month detention order for possessing a knife.
The Crown Prosecution Service, while expressing their sympathies for Yousef’s family, noted the distinct conclusions reached by the coroner compared to the earlier criminal court.