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Teenager cleared of murder of Yousef Makki, 17, in Cheshire

A teenager has been cleared of murdering a friend from the same private school with a flick knife.

The boy, aged 17, stabbed Yousef Makki, also 17, in the heart on a tree-lined street in the upmarket village of Hale Barns in Trafford, Greater Manchester, which is home to footballers and celebrities.

Yousef, from a single-parent Anglo-Lebanese family from Burnage, south Manchester, had won a scholarship to Manchester Grammar school, where fees are nearly £13,000 a year.

The defendant, Boy A, and another known as Boy B, both 17 and from wealthy Cheshire families, were cleared of all charges following a four-week trial at Manchester crown court. Neither of the defendants can be named as they are aged under 18.

The jury heard the stabbing was an “accident waiting to happen” as all three indulged in “idiotic fantasies” playing middle class gangsters.

Despite the privileged backgrounds of both defendants, the jury heard they led “double lives”, calling each other “bro” and “fam” and the police “feds”. The two boys and Yousef smoked cannabis, listened to rap or drill music, and posted videos on social media in which they posed with knives they called “shanks”.

Boy A denied murdering Yousef on March 2, claiming he acted in self-defence. He admitted perverting the course of justice by lying to police and possession of a flick knife.

Boy B was cleared of perverting the course of justice by allegedly lying to police about what he had seen. He admitted possession of a flick knife. Both were also cleared of conspiracy to commit robbery in the lead-up to Yousef’s death.

Boy A puffed out his cheeks and closed his eyes as he was cleared by the jury forewoman and was then hugged by his tearful family in the public gallery.

In another part of the pubic gallery, Yousef’s father, Ghaleb Makki, shouted: “Where’s the justice for my son? Where’s the justice?” Another voice was heard saying: “Are you joking?” as the not guilty verdicts were delivered.

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