The family of Yousef Makki, the 17-year-old boy fatally stabbed in Hale Barns in 2019, have won their fight for a fresh inquest in his death.
Joshua Molnar, from Hale, stabbed Yousef Makki with a knife during a row on Gorse Bank Road in March 2019.
Molnar was cleared of manslaughter and murder following a trial at Manchester Crown Court four months later and was released 215 days into a 16-month sentence at a Young Offenders’ Institute after admitting the lesser charges of perverting the course of justice and possessing a flick knife.
A coroner’s inquest later found that Yousef’s death was not an “unlawful killing” and recorded a narrative conclusion.
But Lady Justice Macur and Mr Justice Fordham today handed down their ruling at the High Court in Manchester, quashing the conclusion of the first inquest and ordering a fresh inquest with a different coroner.
Alison Mutch, senior coroner for Greater Manchester South, had concluded in the original inquest that she could not be sure of the “precise sequence of events” leading to Yousef’s death.
But representing Yousef’s family today, Peter Weatherby KC told the hearing that Ms Mutch should have “strived to make a finding” that Yousef’s death was accidental or unlawful.
He said: “In essence, the coroner found insufficient evidence on the balance of probabilities that he was unlawfully killed… we say that there was a wealth of evidence.”
Speaking outside the court, Yousef’s sister Jade Akoum said: “We are very grateful to the judges for today recognising that the coroner’s conclusion was unlawful, and for the compassion and understanding that they showed us during the judicial review hearing.
“We were so pleased to have achieved an inquest, but the coroner marched us to the top of the hill only to march us down again.
“We now look forward to a new inquest before a different coroner which we hope and pray will establish clearly the facts about how Yousef died.
“The flawed inquest used up all of the funds we worked so hard to raise, so we must now ask the public again for the generous help in allowing us to be represented at the inquest, as the others involved inevitably will be.
“We cannot be put on an uneven footing again as we were at the criminal trial. We know that this is a lot to ask at a difficult time for everybody. But please know that we are forever grateful for those that have helped us this far and those that may do so in the future.
“We’d like to thank our supporters who have attended today and our legal team who have stood by us every step of the way and have helped us get to this point.
“But this is the beginning and not the end, and we will not stop until we have justice for Yousef, for us, for my mum but first and foremost for him, our own beloved king.”