A boy who stabbed to death a Manchester Grammar School pupil in Hale Barns was today sentenced to 16 months in prison for lying to police, two weeks after being cleared of his murder.
A jury controversially cleared a 17-year-old of the murder and manslaughter of Yousef Makki, 17, who was killed by a single stab wound to the heart on Gorse Bank Road in March.
The boy, who could not be named for legal reasons and was known as Boy A during the trial, successfully argued he acted in self-defence but did admit to the lesser charges of perverting the course of justice. He and a second 17-year-old boy, known as Boy B, also pleaded guilty to possessing flick knives.
Boy A was today sentenced to a 16-month detention training order – 12 months for perverting the course of justice, and four months for possession of the knife. Boy B received a detention and training order for four months for possession of a knife.
Boy A will be eligible for release half way through his sentence.
The Manchester Evening News reported that Boy A showed now reaction as he was led away to begin his sentence, and that the families of both boys were in tears.
Sentencing, judge Mr Justice Bryan said: “The backdrop of your offending is depressingly all too familiar, a warped culture in where possession of knives is deemed to be cool and aesthetically pleasing.
“Mix that with drugs and drug dealing it is a recipe for disaster. The tragic and predictable events which cost the life of your friend Yousef Makki who had everything to live for changed the lives of his family forever.
“You will both have to live with your decisions that day and the consequences for the rest of your lives.”
The family and friends of Yousef Makki, who held a 150-strong demonstration outside the court yesterday to protest the original verdict and hold up ‘Justice for Yousef Makki’ signs, boycotted the sentencing today.
His sister, Jade Akoum, had said the family had been treated “like criminals” in court and were left “traumatised” by the verdict.
And Jade and Yousef’s mother Debbi Makki told Good Morning Britain today that she would never give up fighting for her son.
She said: “As a mum, every parent knows you will fight for your kids whatever and we never expected this to happen to us as a family so for as long as we’re all alive, we will carry on.”