Josh Molnar has today been released from prison – less than a year since stabbing Yousef Makki to death in Hale Barns.
Yousef, a 17-year-old Manchester Grammar School student, was killed by a single stab wound to the heart on March 2nd 2019.
During the trial that followed, Molnar was controversially cleared of murder and manslaughter, with his defence team successfully arguing that the then 17-year-old had acted in self-defence.
Molnar did admit to the lesser charges of perverting the course of justice, and he and a second 17-year-old boy now revealed as Adam Chowdhary, also pleaded guilty to possessing flick knives.
Molnar was sentenced to a 16-month detention training order – 12 months for perverting the course of justice, and four months for possession of the knife, while Chowdhary received a detention and training order for four months for possession of a knife.
Sentencing, judge Mr Justice Bryan said both would “live with your decisions that day and the consequences for the rest of your lives”.
Molnar was sentenced on July 25th, meaning he has spent just 215 days in prison.
Yousef’s family is reported to be “crushed” to hear about his release.
An Anglo-Hungarian with “mild learning difficulties”, Molnar hails from an affluent family in Hale.
His mother Stephanie, who co-founded the Elmscot chain of nurseries but has since left the company, told the Sunday Times in October that her son was “no different than any other 17-year-old in the area”.
“Nobody can know the detail of everything that your kids get up to,” she said. “All you can do is rely on them to make positive choices based on the values that have been instilled in them throughout their upbringing.”
Molnar was not in education at the time of Yousef’s death, having been withdrawn from Wilmslow High School in late 2018 after being caught at school with cannabis. He had previously attended Cheadle Hulme School and Ellesmere College in Shropshire.
Despite the privileged backgrounds of both the defendants, the trial revealed that they spoke and acted like “middle class gangsters”, with Molnar posting videos on social media posing with his “shanks” or knives.
Molnar’s mother said that her son accepted responsibility for Yousef’s death but that it was “act of self-defence” and that “every single one of the twelve members of the jury, diverse in age, ethnicity, gender and background, felt not guilty was the right verdict based purely on the evidence”.
But Yousef’s mother Deborah Makki and sister Jade Akoum said they “did not accept for one moment” that Yousef had been killed accidentally, and that the jury had been “misled”.
They said at the time: “The utter devastation on our lives is indescribable. The injustice of everything will remain with us forever. Yousef was a bright and caring boy who had only just started to associate himself with these boys, who were not in any sense his “best friends”.
“Yousef has been cruelly taken away from us and we still have to hear about allegations of him handling a knife, which are totally untrue.
“The jury were misled about this and so many other matters, including about Joshua Molnar, who filmed himself sat in a toilet at Manchester Crown Court making stabbing motions to drill music during the trial.
“We do not accept for one moment that Yousef’s death was merely an accident. A jury was not sure that the Crown Prosecution Service had disproved Joshua Molnar’s claim of self-defence, but no more or less can be inferred from their decision. Together with our legal, campaign and investigation teams, we are exploring all avenues for ensuring that we achieve Justice for Yousef. In his memory, we will not rest until we have done so.”