Yousef Makki’s family seeks judicial review to overturn coroner’s verdict

Yousef Makki’s family will seek judicial review to overturn a coroner’s inconclusive verdict on the teenager’s stabbing death.

South Manchester Senior Coroner Alison Mutch said she could not safely conclude the death was unlawful or accidental, instead recording a narrative verdict following a seven-day inquest in November .

Yousef’s family called the conclusion “disgusting” at the time.

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Now a QC acting for Yousef’s father, Ghaleb Makki, will apply to the High Court for judicial review to overturn the coroner’s decision and seek a new inquest before another coroner.

Yousef, a talented scholarship student at Burnage’s elite Manchester Grammar School, was just 17 when he was fatally stabbed in the heart by his friend Joshua Molnar, a former public schoolboy from a wealthy Hale family, during a a showdown at Hale Barns in March. 2, 2019.

A jury acquitted Molnar, now 20, of murder and manslaughter later that year, although he was given a 16-month detention and training order after admitting to possessing the knife which inflicted the fatal injury and lying to police at the scene.

Joshua Molnar

He says he acted in self-defense, alleging Yousef pushed and punched him and called him “p*ssy”.

His co-defendant at the 2019 trial, Adam Chowdhary, also 17 at the time but now 19, of Hale Barns, who described Yousef as his ‘best friend’ at MGS, was acquitted of perverting the course of justice.

He received a four-month detention order after admitting possession of a knife, one of two he said he and Yousef had jointly ordered during a break from classes at MGS.

Following the November inquest, South Manchester Chief Coroner Ms Mutch recorded a narrative finding, saying: “Yousef died from a stab wound to the chest. The specific circumstances in which he was injured cannot, on a balance of probabilities, be determined.”

Yousef Makki (left) and Adam Chowdhary

The family’s formal application for judicial review, written by Pete Weatherby QC who represented them at the inquest, argues that the coroner’s decision was ‘unreasonable’ as it ‘did not address or draw conclusions about central issues of the case so as to enable him to reach a conclusion – on a balance of probabilities – as to the legality of the murder”.

The QC said the coroner ‘did not address or offer any analysis’ on Joshua Molnar’s credibility, his state of mind at the time of the stabbing or whether he produced a knife in front of Yousef, or whether Yousef had drawn a knife at all.

Alison Mutch, Senior Coroner for South Manchester

The petition was due to be formally lodged in the High Court today.

Yousef’s sister, Jade Akoum, told the MEN “We are really delighted that Yousef’s father is challenging the coroner’s decision in court and we fully support him in his approach.

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“We hope this legal action is successful so that there can be a new inquest before another coroner. That is the least we owe to my mother and Yousef.

“We’ve known for a long time that getting answers for him won’t be easy, but we’re not going anywhere and we’ll keep fighting as long and as hard as it takes to get answers for Yousef. “