Why did rich kid stabs Yousef Makki: A teenage boy stands in the street, topless, trying to speak to police through weeping and desperate gulps of breath. It’s a dark evening, but his necklace gleams with flashing blue lights. Joshua Molnar is the name of the young man. He’s seventeen. He’s not wearing a shirt because he’s been applying pressure to his friend’s chest in an attempt to keep his blood contained. Yousef Makki, that friend, was stabbed just moments ago.
“Yousef Makki has walked ahead, and we’ve come around the corner, and he’s just fallen over,” Molnar tells the cops, shaking his head from side to side. “He was coughing up blood… I’ve taken my shirt off and put pressure on him, but he hasn’t said anything.”
An officer approaches Molnar and inquires, “How did this happen?” “I’m not sure,” he says. He saw a silver hatchback drive away. Who would have done such a thing? “I don’t know,” Molnar repeats, but he speculates that they’re in a wealthy neighborhood – Hale Barns in Greater Manchester, home to millionaire footballers – and that burglars occasionally target the houses there.
Another of Makki’s friends, Adam Chowdhary, wishes to leave the scene, but the police need to question him. Who is responsible for this? “I’m not sure,” he says, explaining that he was walking far behind Makki. Chowdhary had called 911 a few minutes before, saying, “My mate has been stabbed.” He urgently requires an ambulance.
He’s going to die, so hurry up… Please!” He now requests to call his mother while sitting in a police car.
These disturbing moments were captured by police officers’ body cameras on March 2, 2019, shortly before Makki was declared dead in hospital at 7.39 p.m. They serve as the introduction to a new documentary, provocatively titled Killed by a Rich Kid, which will air on Channel 4 on Monday.
The fact that Molnar is lying adds to the chilling nature of the footage. He knows who stabbed Makki: it was him.
Molnar admitted to knifing his friend hours later but claimed it was an accident while acting in self-defense during an argument. Four months later, in July 2019, he testified the same way at his trial and was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter. Chowdhary was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice after his lawyers testified in court that he had been looking at his phone and had not seen the stabbing and that he had not lied to the police.
Molnar pleaded guilty to knife possession and perverting the course of justice. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison and eight months of community service, and he was released after eight months. Chowdhary pleaded guilty to having a knife in his possession and was imprisoned for four months in a youth detention center.
The judgment of the trial shocked Makki’s family. “We had faith in the criminal justice system, we had faith in the police,” his sister Jade Akoum tells me. Every day, the cops told us, ‘We’re going to get murdered.’ In the worst-case scenario, we’ll be charged with manslaughter.”
“When they said the judgments were in, I remember we were all running there, really enthused that we were finally getting to the end – we wanted to get justice,” she recalls of the trial’s conclusion. ‘Not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty We were all in shock and couldn’t believe it. “What followed was a bit of a blur.”
What caused the stabbing?
Why did rich kid stabs Yousef Makki: Journalists who attended the trial say in the documentary that they believe the jury’s verdicts were influenced by conflicting accounts of the alleged motive.
According to the prosecution, Molnar was beaten and his bike was stolen after he and Chowdhary attempted to steal cannabis from a drug dealer and his associates whom Chowdhary had arranged for them to meet on a bridge 90 minutes before Makki was stabbed. Prosecutors claimed that this caused Molnar to become enraged and have an argument with Chowdhary, which occurred in Makki being stabbed.
Why did the rich kid stabs Yousef Makki: This incident prompted days of witness testimony and cross-examination. Both Molnar and Chowdhary denied attempting to rob the drug dealer and arguing before Makki’s stabbing. Molnar claimed he was beaten up at the bridge in misinterpreted retaliation for an attack on one of the dealer’s associates two weeks earlier – while Chowdhary denied knowing the dealer or any of his group, claiming they had met solely to buy cannabis.
To add to the confusion, one of the alleged drug dealer’s group members, who was scheduled to testify as a prosecution witness, switched sides, claiming he had previously lied about what happened that day.
Molar can be seen running seconds before the stabbing, followed by Chowdhary, and Makki walking some distance behind the pair before breaking into a sprint. The video clip was made public in November 2021 as a result of a request by the Manchester Evening News, which was supported by Makki’s family.
In November 2021, a police officer told the inquest that the violence on a country lane near Manchester Airport in the hours before the brutal murder was not a “drug deal gone wrong,” as the prosecution had claimed, but rather a “revenge attack” on Joshua Molnar.
According to Matthew Stanbury, the lawyer now representing Makki’s family, this means the trial jury may have been given a “false picture” of the hours leading up to the stabbing.
At the inquest, the legal team representing Makki’s family agreed with Molnar’s account that he was beaten up in a revenge attack. They claimed that Chowdhary had assisted in the planning of the attack on Molnar, who was accused of forcibly taking Chowdhary’s jacket as retaliation for what had happened. They claimed that this sparked an argument between the two, with Makki acting as a mediator – and being stabbed as a result.
Chowdhary spoke with the drug dealer in ten calls leading up to the bridge incident, but he denied planning the attack on Molnar and claimed the calls were merely to arrange for the purchase of cannabis. Molnar is not convinced that Chowdhary betrayed him. The two boys insisted once more that they had not argued and denied that Makki had acted as a mediator between them.
Stanbury believes that the short period between Makki’s death and the trial – only 15 weeks – “strongly influenced the police and prosecution’s ability to advance the fullest case.” Greater Manchester Police maintain that their case was “trial-ready,” and that the brevity of their investigations was necessary because the two defendants were under the age of 18 at the time.
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