THE heartbroken sister of stabbed schoolboy Yousef Makki today claimed two “middle class” teens were cleared of his murder because “he’s half-Arab and from a council estate”.
Jade Akoum, 28, said her family feels the 17-year-old hasn’t got justice, adding “I think it went wrong right from the beginning”.
Yousef Makki, 17, a scholarship pupil at £12,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School, was killed in Hale Barns[/caption]
Jade Akoum said her family feels let down after two defendants were cleared of her brother’s murder[/caption]
Her little brother, Yousef, died after being knifed in the heart in leafy Hale Barns, Cheshire – an area popular with Man Utd footballers – in an alleged drug deal robbery gone wrong.
Last week two teenagers in court over his death were cleared – before Yousef’s dad yelled “f**k you, you b******” and collapsed.
Jade told the Guardian: “If it was the other way round – my brother is half-Arab and from a council estate … [the verdicts may be different].
“We kept quiet because we thought we were going to get justice at the end. Now we’ve got to speak up.”
Last week Lucy Powell, MP for Manchester Central, suggested the result may have been different if the defendants were not white and middle class.
A 17-year-old defendant, who can only be known as Boy A, was cleared of murder and manslaughter, but admitted telling lies to police at the scene and pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.
He told jurors he acted in self defence after Yousef pulled a knife on him during a scuffle and claimed he felt threatened by the teen.
Co-accused Boy B, also 17, was cleared of lying to police and was found not guilty of conspiracy to rob.
Both admitted possessing a flick knife but both denied a charge of conspiracy to robbery.
If it was the other way round – my brother is half-Arab and from a council estate … [the verdicts may be different].
Jade said today: “The whole thing we’re not happy with.
“It’s infuriating for us because we just want the truth … We feel that we’ve let Yousef down because we couldn’t even get him justice and like his life meant nothing to anyone else.”
“We will follow all the routes we can to fight this. I’m not waiting for the Crown Prosecution Service to tell me because we put all our faith and trust in them before and they’ve let us down to be honest.”
The youngster, from an Anglo-Lebanese family, had won a scholarship to attend the prestigious £12,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School and dreamed of becoming a heart surgeon.
But away from his wealthy family, Yousef and the two defendants led “double lives” and acted like gangsters, it was said.
A tense Snapchat exchange had been revealed to jurors where Yousef threatened to kill him months before he died.
All three had indulged in “idiotic” fantasies of being middle-class gangsters – with the stabbing an “accident waiting to happen”, jurors heard.
They called each other “Bro” and “Fam” while riding around on their bikes smoking cannabis and allegedly filmed videos for social media carrying “shanks” – knives – while listening to Drill music.
Just days before he died, Yousef had sent a clip of a hand playing with a flick knife to Boy B’s phone on Snapchat.
The pair had previously rowed in September 2018 – with screengrabs of the conversation shown to the jury.
Messages included Yousef telling his friend: “Ur getting stabbed when I see u. Swear down. I’m gonna kill u. U p***y.”
'I'm gonna kill u, you p***y' – Snapchat exchange between Yousef Makki and Boy B in September 2018
Boy B: “Don’t hate on what I’m doing.”
Yousef: “Don’t be messaging man. Like ur gonna be a trapper [drug dealer]. Ur not. Jus shut up fam. Talk too much never do Niz. Actions speak louder than words. I’ll talk to u when when ur normal again. Pussio.
“Ur getting stabbed when I see u. Swear down. I’m gonna kill u. U p***y.”
Boy B: “Do it man (laughing emoji)”
Yousef: “Watch me.”
Boy B: “I will. Idc. Kill me.”
Yousef: “Watch fam. Ur dead man. Ik what you been chatting. Ur dead man. Link me tomoz then if ur about it I’ll come OT w my cousin. U bring any Man U want. Any cousins. And let’s settle this properly. On road.”
Later they appeared to settle their differences, the jurors were told.
Yousef: “I’m gonna keep it real now I’ve had time. I owe u an apology. Cos I made beef out of something minor.”
Yousef’s furious dad Ghaleb Makki collapsed as he exploded into a foul-mouthed tirade at the two defendants as they were found not guilty.
He had to be restrained as he repeatedly yelled “f**k you, you b******” as officials came to lead him away, while Yousef’s mum burst into tears.
The dad also jumped to his feet and screamed “where is the justice for my son?” as families of the two defendants wept and hugged each other.
During the trial, Boy A told jurors his memory of the fatal incident was “spotty” but said he acted in self defence after Yousef punched him and pulled a blade out.
The court heard on March 2, Boy B had arranged a £45 cannabis deal and the trio planned to rob the drug dealer.
But the alleged plan went wrong and Yousef and Boy B fled – leaving Boy A to take a beating.
A row is then said to have broken out between Boy A and Yousef – with defendant claiming his mate had called him a “p***y”.
He told the court Yousef then punched him in the face before taking out his knife as he shouted “come on! Come on!”
Boy A wept as he told jurors: “I don’t know how I was feeling at the time. I probably just didn’t want to get beaten up again. I was quite on edge.
“So then I started to take the knife out of my pocket. This is in a matter of seconds.
“I do know what I did. I don’t know how it came together.
'No winners in this case' – Boy A's family speak outside court after the verdicts
“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.”
‘I’VE BEEN STABBED’
“Trying to get my knife. I’m a bit disorientated. I can’t remember if Yousef laughed a bit or said something.
“I have got more annoyed. I have taken 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. Yousef took a step back.”
The court heard he didn’t realise the knife had gone into his friend until Yousef called out “he’s stabbed me” or “I’ve been stabbed”.
Paramedics desperately fought to save the popular pupil’s life but he died from a single stab wound to the chest.
He died just hours after Jodie Chesney — a girl the same age — was fatally stabbed in Harold Hill, Essex, as she listened to music with pals in a park.
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Their deaths took Britain’s grisly murder toll to 21 in 62 days this year as knife crime continued to spiral out of control.
Nicholas Johnson QC, prosecuting, told the jury Boy A had a “fixation” with knives, and that the stabbing of Yousef was a “petulant, malicious response of a wannabe hardman who had lost face”.
They were bailed to be sentenced on July 25 on the charges they have already pleaded guilty to.
The 17-year-old was stabbed in the heart before he died[/caption]
The jury heard Boy A was acting in self defence as Yousef had pulled a knife on him[/caption]
The teen was killed on March 2 in an alleged row over a drug deal gone wrong[/caption]
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