1004 GMT November 22, 2019
The boy, aged 17, will spend eight months in custody for lying to police after he stabbed Yousef Makki, also 17, in the heart with a flick knife in Hale Barns, Cheshire, on March 2, The Independent reported.
Shortly after he was cleared of murder and manslaughter earlier this month, the defendant, known as Boy A, published a video of himself making stabbing motions.
The video was then sent to a member of Makki’s family, who reported it to the judge and Greater Manchester Police, who say they have launched an investigation.
The probe will determine whether an offense has been committed under the Malicious Communications Act by whoever sent the video.
On Thursday at Manchester Crown Court, Justice Bryan sentenced Boy A to a 12-month detention and training order for perverting the course of justice and a four-month detention and training order for possessing a bladed article, to run consecutively.
A second 17-year-old defendant, Boy B, was cleared of perverting the course of justice by allegedly lying to police about what he had seen but also admitted possession of a flick knife.
Both were also cleared of conspiracy to commit robbery in the lead-up to Yousef’s death.
Boy B was sentenced to a four-month detention and training order.
Both will be released halfway through their sentences under supervision.
Sentencing, the judge told the pair, “From the evidence I have heard in the course of your trial, it is clear that both of you had an unhealthy fixation with knives which is all too common amongst the youth of today.
“It must stop. There is nothing cool about knives. Their carrying all too often leads to their use and to tragedy, and it is a fallacy that they can keep you safe — very much the reverse, as events all too often demonstrate.”
The jury heard the stabbing was an “accident waiting to happen” as all three youths indulged in “idiotic fantasies” playing middle class gangsters.
Despite the privileged backgrounds of both defendants they led “double lives”, the court heard.
Calling each other “Bro” and “Fam” and the police “Feds”, the defendants and Yousef smoked cannabis, road around on bikes and listened to rap or drill music.
Yousef, who was from a single-parent Anglo-Lebanese family, had won a scholarship to the prestigious £12,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School.
Boy B purchased the flick knives online in a false name.
The court heard the background to the fatal stabbing on Gorse Bank Road, Hale Barns, was that hours earlier, Boy B arranged a £45 cannabis deal and the teenagers planned to rob the drug dealer, a “soft target”.
But the robbery went wrong and Yousef and Boy B fled, leaving Boy A to take a beating.
Boy A then later pushed Yousef and punched him in the face, the court heard.
He told the jury Yousef pulled out a knife and he responded by also taking out a knife in self defence and his victim was accidentally stabbed.
Addressing Boy A, Justice Bryan said the teenager maintained his false account of events throughout the time at the scene and did not correct himself for some 24 hours.
His convincing lies, the judge said, meant he was treated at the scene as a witness not a suspect and undoubtedly wasted valuable police resources.
Alistair Webster QC, defending Boy A, said the teenager had “undergone the trauma of a murder trial”.
He said, “He does have genuine insight and regret into the consequences of his actions. He knows that for Yousef’s family and many members of the public a custodial sentence is the only way they will feel that justice will be served. Any sentence he will receive will never be long enough.”
Following the verdicts, Labour’s Manchester Central MP, Lucy Powell, tweeted: “You do have to ask if these defendants were black, at state school and from, say, moss side whether they would have been acquitted ...”