People

The mother of Yousef Makki, the 17-year-old stabbed to death in Hale Barns, has died

By David Prior at

Debbie Makki, the mother of Yousef Makki who was stabbed to death in Hale Barns last year, has died, her family has announced.

Jade Akoum, Debbie’s daughter and Yousef’s sister, said that her “beautiful strong mum” had passed away at 4am this morning. She was 55.

Jade said her mum’s mental and physical health had “deteriorated dramatically over the past year” and she “hadn’t been the same since Yousef was murdered”.

A statement from the Makki ad Akoum families read: “It is with a broken heart that we have to share this devastating news: our beloved Mum and Nana, so loved by everyone who knew her, died in the early hours of this morning.

“She was rushed to hospital via ambulance two days ago after struggling at home. The doctors told us she was critical. She was not strong enough to fight. Lockdown isolated my mum from her Grandchildren who kept her going and she had too much time to think about the loss of Yousef – and the stark injustice and inhumane treatment of our family that followed.

Debbie Makki (centre in pink dress) with her family

“She wondered why the the families of the boys involved in Yousef’s death have never contacted her and how they could be so cruel. It kept her awake most nights – she literally never slept. We were unable to be with her in her last moments, just as we were unable to be with Yousef – but they are together now which brings us some comfort. Our world has fallen apart all over again and we are all in complete shock.”

Debbie split up with her husband when Yousef was 10 and raised Yousef and his sisters, Rachel and Jade, and little brother, Mazen, alone.

Jade said: “My mum’s mental and physical health had deteriorated dramatically over the past year and she hadn’t been the same since Yousef was murdered. Her heart was broken and the spark in her eyes had gone. The toll of losing Yousef was colossal, but the injustice and the constant uphill battle we had to fight meant she never found peace.

Debbie (centre) with her family

“There have been a lot of false promises to our family, beacons of hope from individuals that have amounted to nothing. I want to assure everyone that we will get to the bottom of this. Not only have these awful people taken Yousef, they have worn my mum down and taken her too.

“My mum was the strongest, bravest lady I have ever met and we will miss her dearly. We want to thank everyone who has supported us throughout and will continue to do so.”

Debbie and Jade led a campaign for “justice” after Josh Molnar was acquitted of the murder and manslaughter of Yousef, a 17-year-old Manchester Grammar School student, in March 2019.

Debbie led a campaign for justice in her son’s name

Molnar, from Hale, successfully convinced the jury he had acted in self-defence. He did admit possessing the knife which caused the fatal injury and lying to police at the scene and was sentenced to a 16-month detention and training order, before being released early in February.

Adam Chowdhary, from Hale Barns, also pleaded guilty to possessing flick knives and perverting the course of justice.

The family were vocal in their disdain for the system, claiming they were treated “like criminals” in court and were left “traumatised” by the decision to clear the teenager of his murder.

In February, Debbie revealed her continuing devastation in an interview with the BBC: “Every single one of us is broken, from my son, my daughters, even the grandchildren. Everybody’s devastated, there’s never a normal day when we don’t think about Yousef, he was just such a big part of our lives.”

The family has launched a fundraiser to raise money to cover Debbi’s funeral costs.