Manchester

Yousef Makki stab death: Father 'will never stop fighting for justice'

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Media caption"I will leave no stone unturned until I get justice for my son"

The father of a teenager stabbed in the heart with a flick knife says he will never give up fighting for justice.

Ghaleb Makki's son Yousef died in Hale Barns, Greater Manchester, on 2 March.

A 17-year-old boy was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter. He and another youth admitted possessing a knife and will be sentenced next week.

Mr Makki said: "I will leave no stone unturned until I get justice for my son. That's a promise I made when I went to his grave after the verdict."

Yousef, 17, was stabbed in the heart in the village of Hale Barns, which is popular with footballers and celebrities.

One of his friends, known as Boy A, argued he acted in self-defence and was cleared of murder and manslaughter on Friday.

Yousef's sister, Jade Akoum, said the family was "so shocked" by the verdict.

"I think even the police and everyone who was on the case were shocked about the verdicts as well. We definitely were not expecting that."

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Yousef Makki was "extremely intelligent" and "humble", his sister said

Mr Makki said the moment the verdict was given "was like watching and witnessing Yousef being stabbed right in front of me but this time from the official who is supposed to protect him, who is supposed to do justice for him."

He said he had been worried that the privileged background of the accused might influence the verdict and raised this issue when he met the Crown Prosecution Service and police before the trial.

"I was worried. My main worry came from when the police told me they had never witnessed in their lifetime someone accused of murder, on trial for murder, and being granted bail," he said.

Yousef, who was a scholarship pupil of the prestigious £12,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School, had dreamed of being a heart surgeon, his father said.

He said his son "wanted to lift his family from poverty" and work with French humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres "to treat poor people in Third World countries for free".

His sister said he was "extremely intelligent, humble, always there for all of his friends. So supportive - he looked after our mum who was unwell as well.

"He was such a lovely boy and it wasn't portrayed like that in trial. They took 24 hours of his life and they put that out there."

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Yousef's family feel his true nature did not come across during the trial

Mr Makki said anyone thinking of carrying a knife should "think about how many hearts you're going to destroy and how many lives you're going to destroy. Why the need for a knife?"

Ms Akoum said she could never forgive the boy who killed her brother because he had not shown any remorse.

"Maybe if he'd shown remorse it would have been easier, but his attitude during and after the trial - I don't think I can."

Mr Makki vowed to "leave no stone unturned until I get justice for my son".

"That's a promise I made to Yousef when I went to his grave after the verdict.

"I said to him, I'm sorry son, society let us all down but I will go on as long as I have life in my body. I will never stop. Yousef deserved better."

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