Manchester

Yousef Makki: Boy B bids to protect anonymity

Yousef Makki Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Yousef Makki, 17, was stabbed in the heart

A teenager cleared of lying to police over the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old boy has made a High Court bid to protect his identity.

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

Molnar was detained for eight months and a 17-year old, known as "Boy B", was detained for four months.

Boy B's anonymity expires when he turns 18 but he wants to extend it until he finishes his education.

Molnar was cleared of murder and manslaughter after the jury accepted his defence that he acted in self-defence when Yousef pulled out a knife in a row over an attempt to rob a drug dealer. But he was detained after he admitted possessing a knife.

He was known as "Boy A" during the trial, which ended in July, and was named in October after a judge lifted an order protecting his anonymity.

Image caption An order protecting the identity of Joshua Molnar was lifted in October 2019

Boy B was acquitted of perverting the course of justice but admitted possession of a flick knife and was given a four-month detention order.

He now wants the High Court to protect his identity until November 2021.

The application is being opposed by a number of media outlets.

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

Mr Wolanski said he is "only seeking a temporary order", adding: "One day, this name is going to come out."

He told the court identifying him when he turns 18 later this month would cause "serious harm to this vulnerable boy's welfare".

He said it would result in him having to move school "with a highly uncertain prospect of finding another school and of suffering serious psychological difficulty".

Mr Wolanski told the court that finishing his education, which he described as "a lifeline" for Boy B, was "vitally important for his rehabilitation", and that "identification now may very well bring that education to an end".

He said Boy B had "repeatedly expressed profound remorse for committing the offence".

The hearing before Mrs Justice Steyn, who has indicated that she will reserve her judgment until the end of January, continues.

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