The Herald

Family of teenager stabbed to death gets judicial review into inquest findings

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THE family of a teenager stabbed to death in an upmarket Cheshire village has won the right to have a judicial review into his inquest findings.

Joshua Molnar stabbed Yousef Makki with a flick knife after the two, both then aged 17, had a row in Hale Barns on the evening of March 2, 2019.

Molnar, from a wealthy Cheshire family, was cleared of murder and manslaught­er following a trial at Manchester Crown Court four months later.

He claimed self-defence and told the jury that knives were produced after they argued and there was a “coming together”, the court heard.

Lawyers for the Makki family at the inquest into Yousef’s death argued that because the standard of proof in a criminal trial is “beyond reasonable doubt” while the standard during inquests is lower, being “on the balance of probabilit­ies”, the coroner could conclude Yousef was unlawfully killed.

Alistair Webster QC, representi­ng Molnar at the inquest, in final legal submission­s to the coroner, said Yousef’s death was simply a

“terrible accident”.

Alison Mutch, senior coroner for Greater Manchester South, following a week of evidence last November, concluded she could not be sure of the “precise sequence of events” and ruled out both unlawful killing and accidental death as a conclusion.

Matthew Stanbury, representi­ng the Makki family at a hearing at the High Court in Manchester yesterday, claimed the coroner’s ruling, that what happened could not be known, was “inevitable” due to the failure to analyse and “grapple” with central issues in the case.

He asked for permission for a judicial review in the hope of holding a fresh inquest before the chief coroner or a judge.

Mrs Justice Heather Williams granted permission for the judicial review and a round of applause broke out from the Makki family and supporters.

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