Manchester

'Boy B' in Yousef Makki case identity revealed

Yousef Makki Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Yousef Makki had won a scholarship to Manchester Grammar School

A teenager cleared of lying to police over the fatal stabbing of a schoolboy can be named after losing a High Court bid to protect his anonymity.

Yousef Makki, 17, died in a fight with his friend, Joshua Molnar, now 18, in Hale Barns, Cheshire in March 2019.

During a trial Molnar argued he had acted in self-defence, and he was acquitted of murder and manslaughter.

It can now be revealed Adam Chowdhary, then also 17 and a friend of Yousef's, was the boy on trial with Molnar.

Chowdhary, now 18, was known only as Boy B during the trial at Manchester Crown Court.

He was acquitted of perverting the course of justice but given a four-month detention order after admitting possession of a flick knife.

'Public interest'

Chowdhary's anonymity was due to automatically expire on 24 January when he turned 18 but he wanted to extend it until he finished his education in November 2021.

At a hearing in London last month, his barrister Adam Wolanski QC said Chowdhary was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and the publication of his identity would be "catastrophic for him".

The High Court dismissed his application and the deadline to file an appeal against the decision was reached earlier at 16:00 GMT.

Yousef, who had won a scholarship to the prestigious £12,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School, was knifed in the heart by Molnar - who was referred to as Boy A during the four-week trial in July.

He told the jury he acted in self-defence after Yousef pulled a knife on him.

He admitted possession of a knife and perverting the course of justice after initially lying to police about what had happened and was detained for 16 months.

'Powerful deterrent'

Rejecting Chowdhary's application for continued anonymity, Mrs Justice Steyn ruled naming him was justified by "public interest in open justice".

"The most significant aggravating feature was that [Chowdhary] bought the knife with which Yousef was killed," she said, adding that possession of a knife was "a serious offence" and there was a "strong public interest in knowing the identity of those who commit serious offences".

Mrs Justice Steyn found "the prospect of being named in court, with the accompanying disgrace, is a powerful deterrent" to others.

"There is an important public interest in understanding the prevalence of knife crime. Such understanding depends, at least in part, on knowing who is committing such crimes," she added.

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