yousef makki death
True Crime

Killed by a Rich Kid: How did teenager Yousef Makki die in 2019? Where is killer Joshua Molnar now?

The crime and its controversial outcome is featured on C4's Killed by a Rich Kid

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Yousef Makki’s tragic death in 2019 remains one of the most senseless and controversial in recent UK history.

In March of that year, the 17-year-old was stabbed to death by a so-called friend in a wealthy Manchester suburb.

But why did Josh Molnar kill his friend?

Why was the inquest and subsequent verdict so controversial?

And where is Josh Molnar now?

Here’s everything you need to know about the brutal death of Yousef Makki and the events that unfolded afterwards.

***Warning: article contains upsetting details about the death of Yousef Makki***

Yousef Makki death
Yousef Makki’s sister Jade Akoum, seen here with husband Mazen Akoum, named her new baby boy after her dead brother (Credit: Channel 4)

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Who was Yousef Makki?

Yousef Makki was a teenager with his whole life ahead of him.

Until March 2019, the teenager seemed to be living the dream.

Yousef was bought up on a council estate in Burnage.

However, his life looked like it was on an upwards trajectory when he won a life changing bursary to one of Manchester’s top private schools Manchester Grammar School – just seven miles away from the estate where he grew up.

The straight-A student seemed destined for a life of success and dreamt of a career in medicine or finance.

Highly intelligent, he hoped to study for a degree at Oxford or Cambridge.

But his life was cruelly cut short at the age of 17 when he was stabbed to death by a friend.

What happened to Yousef Makki before his death?

On March 02 2019 – the night of Yousef Makki’s death – he was in the wealthy Manchester suburb of Hale Barns.

Yousef spent the previous night at the Hale Barns home of Adam Chowdhary, a fellow MGS pupil.

They met up with Joshua Molnar in the afternoon.

Little did Yousef know that he would be killed just hours later on a leafy street in suburbia, by someone he considered a friend.

The only people who know for certain what happened that night are the three boys but Yousef is dead.

The second boy – called Boy A until he came of age – was accused of his murder.

He was later revealed to be Yousef’s friend Josh Molnar.

The third boy – called Boy B until he turned 18 – declined to give evidence in court but was revealed to be Yousef’s friend Adam Chowdhary.

We know that on that night, Adam Chowdhary called 999.

He said: “My mate’s been stabbed.

“He needs an ambulance here now.

“He’s gonna die, please hurry up… Please!”

Yousef Makki death
Yousef Makki as a baby with his sister Jade (Credit: Channel 4)

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Police body-cam footage of Josh Molnar

Body-cam footage from police on the night shows a topless Josh, then 17, telling officers the culprits had sped off in a silver hatchback car.

Josh removed his top to stem the bleeding from Yousef’s chest injury until the emergency services arrived at Gorse Bank Road in Hale Barns.

Just minutes after he stabbed Yousef, Josh is captured telling an officer: “We’ve come sprinting over and the guy [Yousef] was just coughing up blood.”

Molnar says: “We were walking over the motorway…

“Then Yousef Makki’s walked ahead.

“We’ve come round the corner and he’s just fallen over.

“We’ve come sprinting over and the guy was just coughing up blood…

“I’ve taken my shirt off and I’ve put pressure on it.

“But he hasn’t been able to say anything and he’s been, like, gasping for breath.”

The officer asks him: “How’s that happened?”

Josh then blames “a group of black guys”.

Josh Molnar video footage

The body-cam footage was played during the 2019 trial and the inquest in 2021.

However, a coroner refused a media application led by the M.E.N. for it to be released to the public.

It is now featured in the C4 documentary Killed by a Rich Kid.

The makers of the documentary obtained the footage following a long legal battle.

Who killed teenager Yousef Makki in 2019?

Josh Molnar stabbed Yousef Makki in the heart with a 12cm deep knife.

Yousef Makki bled to death from the deep wound delivered to his vital organ.

He died later in hospital.

Yousef Makki was declared dead in hospital at 7.39pm the same night.

Despite initially lying to the police, Josh later admitted stabbing Yousef.

Police arrested Josh Molnar at 10pm on the night of the stabbing.

Yousef Makki death
Yousef Makki aged 17, just two months before his death (Credit: Channel 4)

Who was Josh Molnar?

Josh Molnar was the son of prominent business people Mark and Stephanie Molnar, who divorced several years before.

Josh Molnar’s dad Mark, 56, a maths graduate, is a company director and business consultant, while his mother, Stephanie, 51, co-founded of a chain of Cheshire nurseries.

He was not in education at the time of the killing.

He had attended two private schools and then joined Wilmslow High School, a comprehensive.

But had “been withdrawn by mutual consent” just before Christmas 2018 after he had been caught at school with cannabis.

Why did Josh Molnar kill Yousef Makki?

On the night of Yousef Makki’s death, Adam Chowdhary arranged a small cannabis deal.

The three friends went to a country lane near Manchester Airport to collect the drugs.

However, Josh Molnar was beaten up by two associates of the alleged dealer who threw his £2,000 Starling bike over a hedge.

Josh Molnar said he blamed Adam Chowdhary, who had cycled away from the confrontation.

Josh later took Adam Chowdhary’s £300 jacket as “compensation” until the bike was returned.

He said that while he was annoyed with Chowdhary, he had not been upset with Yousef, who had tried to find his bike, and just wanted to get home as the fight had left him “dazed”.

Josh Molnar is then seen walking along Gorse Bank Road at 6.34pm followed by Adam Chowdhary and Yousef Makki, who breaks into a run.

This is the last time Yousef was captured alive, at 6.34pm and 46 seconds.

The inquest heard the fatal stabbing occurred, unseen by any camera, at about 6.36pm.

What happened during Josh Molnar’s trial for the death of Yousef Makki?

Josh Molnar’s defence lawyer said Yousef Makki’s death was an “accident waiting to happen”.

By the time Josh Molnar fell out with his friend Yousef over a drug deal gone wrong, he had left a series of schools and his relationship with his family was strained.

Against a backdrop of increasing cannabis use, he began living what his own lawyer described as the double, fantasy life of a juvenile.

He said Josh played the part of a “middle class gangster”, “playing around with knives” and getting into fights.

Why was Josh Molnar acquitted of murder and manslaughter?

Just four months after Yousef Makki’s death, a jury found Josh Molnar not guilty of murder or manslaughter.

The jury believed Josh had acted in self-defence after a squabble.

Josh alleged that Yousef pushed and punched him and called him “pussy”.

He said he got his knife out “to warn Yousef off”.

Yousef’s family, however, say this was totally out of character and told last year’s inquest Yousef acted as a peacemaker.

The judge handed Josh a 16-month detention and training order after admitting possessing the knife which inflicted the fatal injury and lying to police at the scene.

What did the judge say during sentencing?

The judge Mr Justice Bryan told Josh Molnar during sentencing: “The backdrop to your offending is depressingly all too familiar.

“A warped culture whereby the possession of knives is considered to be ‘cool’ and ‘aesthetically pleasing’, and knives are routinely carried on our streets.

“Mix that with youth as well as drugs and drug dealing, as in the present case, and it is a recipe for disaster and the tragic, but all too predictable, events that unfolded on the early evening of 2 March 2019, with the loss of the young life of your friend Yousef Makki who had everything to live for, and the irreparable harm that resulted, which has changed the lives of his family and friends for ever.”

Molnar pleaded guilty to possessing a knife and to perverting the course of justice.

He was sentenced to a 16-month detention and training order and released after eight months.

Yousef Makki death
Yousef Makki aged 16 on his prom day – just nine months before his death (Credit: Channel 4)

Who was Adam Chowdhary?

Adam Chowdhary was Josh Molnar’s co-defendant during the 2019 trial.

Also from Hale Barns, who described fellow Manchester Grammar School student Yousef as his “best friend”.

A judge acquitted Adam of perverting the course of justice.

Mr Chowdhary told the documentary in a statement: “I would like to reiterate my deepest condolences to Yousef’s family.

“I want it to be clear to anyone else thinking of carrying a knife, the risk of something terrible happening is real.

“I want others to learn from my mistake.

“All the facts were addressed in detail in both the high court trial and the inquest.

“I voluntarily gave a full account to the police and gave evidence at the inquest.

“I am sorry that Yousef’s family feel that they are left with questions, but I cannot add anything to what I have already said about that day.”

Adam Chowdhary pleaded guilty to possessing a knife and was sentenced to four months in a youth detention centre.

Why was Josh Molnar’s sentencing so controversial?

Josh Molnar walked free from court after killing Yousef Makki.

The outcome has been widely questioned, raising issues of class, wealth, and privilege in the justice system.

Many believe that justice has not been served with regards to young man Yousef.

Yousef’s death and Josh Molnar’s conviction were highly unusual for the country’s courts because it was a knife crime that happened against a backdrop of privilege.

A jury must be absolutely sure that someone is guilty of a crime to convict them.

Experts will point out there were sound legal reasons for Josh Molnar to be found not guilty of murder and manslaughter.

Those charges require the prosecution to prove a defendant intended to harm a victim…

It’s not a crime to use force in self-defence.

There was no CCTV of the moment Yousef Makki was stabbed, and there were no other witnesses.

The case provoked an angry and divisive debate about race, class and justice.

Would Josh have got off so lightly had he not been from a wealthy background?

What has Josh Molnar’s mum said?

Josh Molnar’s mother Stephanie told the Manchester Evening News in a statement: “I cannot imagine what Yousef’s parents and family must be going through as they try to come to terms with this.

“Joshua fully accepts responsibility for Yousef’s death in the act of self-defence and the impact of this acceptance is massive.

“He will have to live with the responsibility of his role in this for the rest of his life.

“We are also acutely aware that the hurt and loss that Yousef’s family is experiencing are infinitely greater than anything we are going through and nothing I can say can make up for or change that.

“There were no winners in this case.”

Yousef Makki inquest

The inquest into Yousef Makki’s death took place in November 2021.

Senior South Manchester Coroner Ms Mutch recorded a narrative conclusion, saying: “Yousef died from complications of a stab wound to chest.

“The precise circumstances in which he was wounded cannot, on balance of probabilities, be ascertained.”

The Makki family, who had urged an unlawful killing finding, said afterwards they were “disgusted” by this decision.

They are now applying for a judicial review of the inquest to overturn the coroner’s inconclusive verdict.

Yousef Makki death
Yousef Makki with his mum Debbie, two weeks before he died (Credit: Channel 4)

Where is Makki’s friend Josh Molnar now?

Josh Molnar served just eight months for possessing the knife which inflicted the fatal injury to Yousef Makki.

He was also charged with perverting the course of justice after lying to the police at the scene of the crime.

At the time of his trial, he was already in detention for “lesser, though still serious offences”.

Josh was released in February 2021.

Now 19, he is a free man.

Although his mother Stephanie insists “he will have to live with the responsibility of his role in this for the rest of his life”.

In July 2021, Josh Molnar admitted handling an iPhone stolen in a violent robbery weeks before Yousef’s death.

Josh Molnar appeared at Chester Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to an offence of handling stolen goods and was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge.

The offence was unconnected to Yousef Makki’s death.

The Times are quoted as saying that Anglo-Hungarian Josh has mild learning difficulties.

Killed by a Rich Kid on C4

Killed by a Rich Kid is a C4 documentary which takes a forensic look at the killing of Yousef Makki and the subsequent trial of his so-called friend Josh Molnar.

The true crime doc examines the 2019 death of teenager Yousef in Hale Barns, one of England’s most affluent suburbs.

The programme features evidence from the case and traces the events of the trial and inquest.

A judge acquitted Yousef Makki’s friend Josh Molnar of murder and manslaughter.

Three years on, the family still have questions about how and why he died.

They are hoping that a re-examination of the case will reveal what happened the night he died.

Director Tom Reeves followed members of Yousef’s family for months for this deeply moving film.

Viewers see the family try to come to terms with Yousef’s death, and campaign for further legal proceedings in order to find out how he died.

Commission Editor Will Rowson said: “The news of Yousef’s death sent shock waves around Manchester and this story raises important questions nationally – not only about the way justice is administered but also around the perception of knife crime as an exclusively inner-city problem.”

Director Tom Reeves added: “Yousef’s tragic death has resonated with me ever since I first heard about it.

“Having grown up and spent my life not far from where his family live, I couldn’t help but feel connected to this tragic story.

“Yousef’s case raises uncomfortable questions about society and the justice system and his family have been left deeply affected by their experiences of this.”

Yousef Makki death
Yousef Makki, his mum Debbie Makki and his sister Jade Akoum, celebrating his graduation from primary school after getting a scholarship to Manchester Grammar School (Credit: Channel 4)

What has Yousef Makki’s family said about his death?

Yousef’s sister, Jade Akoum, has said: “We have given Channel 4 exclusive access to our family over the past year to follow events since the loss of Yousef at a time of immense heart ache for us all.

“We look forward to the public seeing how hard we have fought to find out what happened to Yousef the night he died and to show what he was really like.

“Viewers will see the unbearable impact knife crime has on the families of victims, we are totally broken without Yousef.

“We hope this will make just one person think twice before carrying a knife.”

In the documentary, tearful mum-of-four Jade says: “I’m trying to be strong but he was my brother.

“All the details that they said and how he died and we weren’t there for him and I’ll never forgive myself that I couldn’t be there.

“He died on his own miles away from where he comes from and we were thinking he was safe.”

Jade Akoum has also written a book about the family’s experiences.

The Boy With a Pound in his Pocket, out next month, refers to the single coin Yousef Makki was carrying when he died.

She has named her youngest son Yousef in memory of her brother.

Where is Yousef Makki’s mum now?

Yousef’s mother Deborah Makki said the family was “broken” by his death.

She told the BBC: “Every single one of us is broken from my son, my daughters and even grandchildren. Everybody is devastated.

“There is never a normal day when we don’t think about Yousef.”

Tragically Debbie died not long after her son’s death.

She died on May 24 2020 from sepsis.

Debbie was only 55 when she died.

Before her death, in footage captured by C4, Debbie reveals she still owned and wore her son Yousef’s socks.

Killed by a Rich Kid airs on Channel 4 on Monday March 21 2022 at 9pm.

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