Police, Fire & Court

Teenager cleared of the murder of Yousef Makki in Hale Barns

By David Prior at

A 17-year-old boy has been found not guilty of the murder in Hale Barns of Manchester Grammar School pupil Yousef Makki.

A jury at Manchester Crown Court this afternoon returned their verdicts as a four-week trial finished in dramatic fashion.

They found a 17-year-old boy – who cannot be named for legal reasons – not guilty of murder and not guilty of the alternative charge of manslaughter. He was also found not guilty of conspiracy to rob.

A second defendant, also a 17-year-old boy, was found not guilty of conspiracy to rob and not guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Both defendants will now be sentenced on July 25th for the charges they have already admitted. Both have admitted possessing knives and Boy One has also admitted perverting the course of justice by lying to police at the scene.

Judge Mr Justice Bryan has requested pre-sentence reports and will sentence the teenagers on July 25th, with both released on conditional bail until then.

A statement released by Boy One’s family read: “Obviously we welcome the verdicts. The jury came to a proper conclusion 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 his responsibility of his role for the rest of his life.

“But the Makki family’s hurt and loss are infinitely greater. Nothing we can say can make up for that or change it.”

Yousef Makki, 17, was stabbed in the heart with a flick-knife on Gorse Bank Road in Hale Barns on March 2nd.

At the time Yousef was described by his family as “a loving and caring son and brother [who] meant the world to his family”.

When the verdict was delivered by the jury foreman this afternoon, Yousef’s father Ghaleb Makki shouted “Where’s the justice for my son?” and had to be restrained as he shouted “f*** you you b******”, the Manchester Evening News reports.

The MEN also reported that Yousef’s father then collapsed in court and was tended to by police officers and paramedics.

The families of the two defendants were seen in tears, with Boy One hugged by his mother as he was released from the dock.

A picture of Yousef released by his family

Yousef, from Burnage, had won a scholarship to Manchester Grammar school, where fees are almost £13,000 a year.

Both defendants, who cannot be named as they are under 18, are from wealthy Cheshire families.

Over the four-week trial, the jury heard that the stabbing was an “accident waiting to happen” as all three indulged in “idiotic fantasies” in which they were gangsters.

The scene on Gorse Bank Road around 12 hours after the stabbing in March

Nicholas Johnson QC, prosecuting, said that Boy One routinely carried a knife, smoked cannabis and made videos on his phone of him posing with blades.

After Makki had either insulted him or laughed at him during a row on a street in Hale Barns, Boy One had reacted by “pushing in his shank”, the prosecution had alleged.

The jury heard how despite their privileged backgrounds, both defendants led “double lives”, calling each other “bro” and “fam” and the police “feds”.