Manchester

Yousef Makki death: Fatal stabbing leaves 'empty hole in people's hearts'

Funeral Image copyright PA
Image caption Yousef Makki's coffin is carried by mourners at his funeral service at the Dar Al Hadi Foundation in Manchester

The death of a 17-year-old boy who was fatally stabbed in Greater Manchester "has torn a huge, empty hole inside of everyone's hearts", his family said.

Yousef Makki, who hoped to become a heart surgeon, was attacked on 2 March in Hale Barns, near Altrincham.

Hundreds of mourners, including schoolfriends of the teenager, gathered at a funeral service at the Dar Al Hadi Foundation in Ardwick.

A 17-year-old has been charged with Yousef's murder and released on bail.

In a statement released to coincide with the funeral service, Yousef's family said the teenager "was an inspiration to all".

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Yousef Makki, 17, hoped to become a heart surgeon

"His determination, wit and dedication to his family and studies were the foundations of his outstanding personality and he showed an extremely promising future that was tragically cut short.

"Yousef's early departure has torn a huge, empty hole inside of everyone's hearts. For his friends, family and even neighbours, a world without him is a world turned upside down," the statement said.

Many of the mourners at the service were pupils from Manchester Grammar School, where Yousef, from Burnage, was a student.

One, Robin Tetlow-Shooter, said his friend "was the son every parent dreamed of: loving, caring, kind, yet ambitious and determined.

"We were deeply disappointed to hear that the boy charged with murdering Yousef has been freed on bail... This has caused us much distress and it has sent out the wrong message to the young people who followed this case with interest," Mr Tetlow-Shooter said.

Image caption Robin Tetlow-Shooter speaking before the funeral service for his friend Yousef Makki

"Yousef's death would not have been taken in vain if we are able to achieve something positive from the debate that has ensued following his death.

"More police officers on the streets to help protect our young people may be a good start," he said.

Following the funeral service, mourners travelled to the Southern cemetery in Chorlton, where Yousef was buried.

The 17-year-old charged with his murder, who cannot be named because of his age, will stand trial this summer after being granted bail in a private hearing at Manchester Crown Court earlier in March.

Another 17-year-old, who also cannot be named, has been charged with possession of a bladed article and assisting an offender.

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