Sister of Yousef Makki, 17, who was stabbed to death by a friend from his £13,380-a-year Manchester Grammar says she hopes to meet his killer because she has ‘compassion in her heart’ and ‘wants to forgive’
- Jade Akoum, 31, from Manchester, wants to meet her brother’s killers
- Yousef Makki, 17, was stabbed to death with a flick knife in the upmarket village of Hale Barns, Cheshire, on March 2, 2019
- Jade says she has compassion in her heart and wants to forgive
- She’s written a book ‘The boy with a pound in his pocket’ out this Thursday
The sister of a grammar school pupil who was stabbed to death by his friend has revealed she wants to forgive the boys involved in her brother’s killing.
Jade Akoum, 31, from Manchester, wants to meet Joshua Molnar, who stabbed her brother but was acquitted of murder and manslaughter, and Adam Chowdhary, who owned the knife, and says she has compassion in her heart.
Her revelations are shared in a book she has written about her family’s ordeal. Her book, ‘The boy with a pound in his pocket,’ will launch this Thursday.
Jade said: ‘Despite everything, and it may surprise many people, I would still welcome a meeting with Adam Chowdhary and his family.
‘Adam was one of Yousef’s closest friends; he loved him, and he had so many good times with him. The decision to buy knives online was one which led to Yousef’s death. Yet I have no doubt that Adam is hurting too.
‘I need to know about Yousef’s last moments, I want to hear his last words, and however much it hurts, I have to know about the fear and the pain in his eyes.
Jade Akoum, 31, from Manchester, wants to meet the boys who were involved in her brother’s death, and says she has compassion in her heart
Jade and her little brother Yousef together as children. Jade says: ‘Yousef loved school. He would tell me: ‘I’m going to be the top surgeon in the UK. I am going to do big things. My name will be all in the newspapers
‘Anger and blame are powerful emotions, and they are very heavy to carry around each day. I would like to let them go.
‘I want to forgive Adam, though I understand that not everyone will share my sentiment. If I have forgiveness inside me, can he find it in himself to meet me?
‘Joshua Molnar is more difficult for me to forgive. He pushed the knife into Yousef. He made videos glorifying knives and violence. He wept on the stand in Manchester Crown Court and then he made a video showing stabbing motions inside the toilets.
‘I want to feel compassion for him. But I also want him to feel genuine remorse. Again, I would welcome a meeting with him and his family. No cameras. No glitzy PR firms. Just the truth.’
Joshua Molnar, then 17, who was sentenced to 16 months in a young offenders institution after he pleaded guilty to possessing a knife and perverting the course of justice
Since Yousef’s death Jade and her family have organised protests in his memory and are raising funds through their campaign group: ‘Justice For Yousef Makki.’ They have also launched: ‘The Yousef Makki Foundation’ which aims to help disadvantaged children in education
Yousef with his mother Debbie, who campaigned for justice for her son until her death from sepsis in May 2020, aged 55
Jade’s little brother, Yousef Makki, 17, was stabbed to death with a flick knife in the upmarket village of Hale Barns, Cheshire, on March 2, 2019.
His friend Josh Molnar, then 17, was controversially cleared of murder and manslaughter after a jury accepted the incident was self-defence, following a four-week trial in June 2019.
He admitted lying to the police and carrying a knife and was handed a 16-month detention and training sentence.
Adam Chowdhary, then 17, and one of Yousef’s closest friends, was cleared of all charges except possession of a knife and was sentenced to four months.
Jade said Yousef was the third of four children and showed academic promise from a very early age, ‘Even at nursery, Yousef was reading books and broadsheet newspapers. He knew all the parts of the brain and dreamed of becoming a surgeon’
Both he and Molnar were acquitted of conspiracy to commit robbery in the lead-up to Yousef’s death.
Yousef’s mother, Debbie, campaigned for justice for her son until her death from sepsis in May 2020, aged 55.
Jade says: ‘We believe that Mum died from a broken heart, she never got over losing Yousef. I have carried on the fight in her name.’
Jade is also raising awareness of the impact of knife crime amongst young people and recently spoke to prisoners at a remand centre.
Yousef Makki, 17, was stabbed to death in the upmarket village of Hale Barns, Cheshire, on March 2, 2019
Adam Chowdhary, also then a pupil at Manchester Grammar School, was given a four-month detention order for possession of a knife
She says: ‘The young men I met were so responsive and they have ordered my book too. I hope, through Yousef, we can change opinions and we can save other lives.’
The family won a long legal battle to have an inquest held into Yousef’s death but were devastated when a narrative verdict was recorded in November last year.
Jade says: ‘It was a huge blow, but we are used to fighting against the system and we won’t ever give up.’
Yousef, whose nickname was ‘Yo-Yo,’ because he was always busy, was the third of four children and showed academic promise from a very early age.
Jade says: ‘Even at nursery, Yousef was reading books and broadsheet newspapers. He knew all the parts of the brain and dreamed of becoming a surgeon.
‘He would carry a little book around with him and would make notes of things he didn’t understand.’
Tributes to Yousef Makki outside Manchester Grammar School, ‘We really didn’t think that someone like Yousef would ever get into Manchester Grammar. He was from a single parent family, on a council estate, and Mum struggled financially’, Jade added
Jade and her family have been determined to get justice for Yousef and she has work tirelessly to raise awareness of knife crime and show youths a different path
His teachers urged him to apply for a place at the prestigious £13,380 per year Manchester Grammar School.
Jade says: ‘We really didn’t think that someone like Yousef would ever get into Manchester Grammar. He was from a single parent family, on a council estate, and Mum struggled financially.’
But Yousef passed his entrance exams with flying colours and was awarded a place on a scholarship. He settled in well and excelled academically. He went on to study A levels and was being prepared for Oxbridge exams at the time of his death. He was very sporty and enjoyed athletics and boxing.
The killing of Youssef Makki: Stabbed to death by a classmate who was cleared of murder and manslaughter
Yousef Makki was just 17 when he was fatally stabbed through the heart by Josh Molnar, a former public schoolboy from a wealthy Hale family, during the confrontation on March 2, 2019.
A jury acquitted Molnar, now 20, of murder and manslaughter later that year, although he was handed a 16-month detention and training order after admitting possessing the knife which inflicted the fatal injury and lying to police at the scene.
Molnar said he acted in self-defence, alleging Yousef pushed and punched him and called him ‘p*ssy’.
Yousef’s family say this was ‘totally out of character’ and told last year’s inquest Yousef acted as a peacemaker during a row between Molnar and Adam Chowdhary.
The court heard that, on the day of his death, the three teenagers had convened in an underground car park under a supermarket shortly after attending the Square shopping centre in Manchester.
Chowdhary told the inquest Josh Molnar had been ‘impressed’ when they showed him the flick knives he and Yousef were alleged to have had in the car park, which they had jointly ordered in a break from lessons at school two weeks earlier.
The group then attended a country lane near Manchester Airport together after Chowdhary had arranged a small cannabis deal.
However, Molnar was beaten by two associates of the alleged dealer and his £2,000 Starling bike was thrown over a hedge.
Greater Manchester Police told the inquest it believes this ‘pre-cursor event’ was, in fact, a planned revenge attack and not a drug deal.
It followed a review of police investigations into incidents in Wilmslow that Molnar was involved in two weeks earlier.
Molnar denied any involvement and was never prosecuted, but the boy’s cousins attacked him in revenge, the inquest heard.
He said he blamed Chowdhary, who had cycled away from the confrontation, and later the same day took his £300 jacket as ‘compensation’ until the bike was returned.
Molnar also accused of Yousef of having ‘just watched’ as the assault took place.
The last time Yousef was captured alive was at 6.34pm and 46 seconds, when the three reconvened later that evening.
The inquest heard the fatal stabbing occurred, unseen by any camera, at about 6.36pm.
As Yousef lay dying, the panicking defendants hid the knives in bushes and down a drain, dialled 999 and desperately tried to staunch the blood pouring out of Yousef’s chest wound.
Chowdhary, now 19, from Hale Barns, who described Yousef as his ‘best friend’ at MGS, was acquitted of perverting the course of justice.
He was given a four-month detention order after admitting possession of a flick knife, one of two he claimed he and Yousef had jointly ordered during a break from lessons at MGS.
Following an inquest in November 2021, Senior South Manchester Coroner Ms Mutch recorded a narrative conclusion, saying: ‘Yousef died from complications of a stab wound to chest.
‘The precise circumstances in which he was wounded cannot, on balance of probabilities, be ascertained.’
Jade says: ‘Yousef loved school. He would tell me: ‘I’m going to be the top surgeon in the UK. I am going to do big things. My name will be all in the newspapers.
‘And of course it was, tragically. Little did we know what lay ahead.’
Since Yousef’s death Jade and her family have organised protests in his memory and are raising funds through their campaign group: ‘Justice For Yousef Makki.’ They have also launched: ‘The Yousef Makki Foundation’ which aims to help disadvantaged children in education.
She says: ‘Our foundation is aimed at helping young people who come from a similar background to Yousef, who wish to excel in education or in sport.
‘The foundation will be a wonderful legacy for him, and it also gives our family a positive focus whilst our fight for justice goes on.
‘I was invited into HMP Hindley recently to talk to the young men there, and I was so touched by their response to Yousef’s story. The prisoners made a generous donation to Yousef’s foundation too.’
‘The Boy With A Pound In His Pocket’ is available on Amazon from April 28.
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