The coroner has stated that he could not be sure of the exact circumstances in which the teenager died after his friend stabbed him in the heart, but rules out illegal killing.
Former private schoolboy Joshua Molnar stabbed Yousef Makk with a knife after both, both then 17, quarreled at Hale Barns in Cheshire on the evening of March 2, 2019.
Molnar claimed to defend himself and was released from murder and murder after a trial in Manchester Crown Court four months later.
Molnar was sentenced to 16 months in prison for holding a knife in a public place and for distorting the trial by lying to police at the scene.
Lawyers for Makk’s family had urged Alison Mutch, a senior coroner in the south of Greater Manchester, that because the level of evidence in criminal proceedings is “indisputable”, while during the investigation the level is lower because she is “in balance of probabilities”. could conclude that Yousef was killed illegally.
Alistair Webster QC, who represented Molnar in the investigation, said Yousef’s death was simply a “terrible accident.”
At the end of a seven-day investigation, Mutch told the Stockport Court of Inquiry that he could not be sure of even the balance of probabilities in the “exact order of events” and ruled out both wrongful killing and accidental death as the conclusion.
At the long conclusion of the story, Mutch recorded that Yousef died of a stabbing wound in his chest.
He added: “He died of complications from a thoracic stabbing wound, the exact circumstances of which he wounded cannot be ascertained on the basis of probabilities.”
Mutch said he was writing to the education secretary to ask how teenagers ’knowledge of the dangers of carrying knives could be improved – after hearing in a study that it was considered“ cool ”.
Molnar and another young man involved in the case, Adam Chowdhary, had lived a dual life playing “middle-class gangsters,” listening to drill music, burning cannabis, and carrying knives, according to the trial.
A native of South Manchester, Yousef won a £ 12,000 scholarship to Manchester High School, where Chowdhary was also a pupil and became friends.
The court heard that Chowdhary had bought two flick knives from the Wish website for himself and Yousef and took them that day to impress Molnar.
The trial jury was said to have led to Yousef’s death that the drug deal went wrong, resulting in Molnar being beaten and his £ 2,000 bike thrown in the bush and disappeared while Chowdhary escaped and Yousef stood beside him.
Martin Bottomley, head of the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) cold case unit, conducted a review of the investigation of troops and Cheshire police during an incident involving Molnar in Wilmslow two weeks before Yousef’s death.
He said in the investigation that GMP now believed the “precursor event” was not a drug trade but a retaliation against Molnar in the Wilmslow case.
The boy had been struck and Molnar was arrested but quickly released. He denied his involvement and was never prosecuted, but the victim’s cousins, two brothers Mohammed and Ibrahim Chaudhry, attacked him in retaliation, the investigation heard.
Yousef stood there during the attack on Molnar – led to a quarrel between them later that night when Yousef was stabbed.
Both Chaudhry brothers were called to testify during the investigation. They were warned not to answer questions that could blame themselves, and they refused to answer about 60 questions raised during the hearing.
Cheshire police referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over Wilmslow’s investigation.
Mutch warned that the investigation could not be a retrial of the criminal proceedings and the investigations were not permitted by law to distribute criminal charges.
Peter Weatherby QC, representing Yousef’s family, accused Molnar of lying to save his own skin.
Molnar replied, “No. I didn’t do it at all.”
GMP Sergeant Nicholas Bamber said during the investigation that Molnar told “convincing” lies at the crime scene.
Chowdhary told police he did not see what had happened and only repeated to the police at the scene what Molnar told him.
He was initially allowed to hold the phone before his status changed, from a “witness” when police first spoke to him, “suspected” later that evening.
But in the meantime, police found that the call logs and other material had been removed and could not be returned, the investigation heard.
Chowdhary refused to give evidence in the trial alongside Molnar.
Molnar said Yousef had taken the knife out, but Chowdhary said during the investigation that he did not see the knife in Yousef’s hand.
The jury acquitted Chowdhary of distorting his trial in his trial, but he admitted possession of the knife and received a four-month arrest warrant.
Molnar admitted that he had held the knife and distorted the trial by first lying to the police about what had happened and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.
Both were acquitted of the robbery conspiracy.
At a post-investigation press conference, Jade Akoum, Yousef’s older sister, said the past 32 months have been “very terrible” and the family was disappointed with the verdict.
He added: “Over the coming days and weeks, we will be discussing the next steps with our legal team.
“Yousef was the friendliest, most charming young man. … This is how we want to remember him with his warm smile and caring nature. Our last conversation together was his dream of going to Oxford or the University of Cambridge – a dream he was on his way to. ”