'Boy B' in Yousef Makki trial asks for anonymity to be protected until 2021



A teenager cleared of allegations he lied to police about the fatal stabbing of Yousef Makki has made a High Court bid to protect his identity until he finishes his education.  Yousef Makki, 17, was knifed in the heart by his friend, Joshua Molnar, now 18, during a fight in Hale Barns, Cheshire, in March last year.  Molnar was cleared of murder and manslaughter following a four-week trial at Manchester Crown Court in July, telling the jury he acted in self-defence after Yousef pulled a knife on him.  He admitted possession of a knife and perverting the course of justice by initially lying to police about what had happened, and was given 16-months in custody.  Molnar stood trial alongside a 17-year-old known as ‘Boy B’, who was acquitted of perverting the course of justice.  Boy B admitted possession of a flick knife – which Manchester Crown Court heard he had bought online under a false name – and was given a four-month detention order.  Both he and Molnar were acquitted of conspiracy to commit robbery in the lead-up to Yousef’s death.  Boy B – whose anonymity automatically expires when he turns 18 later this month – now wants the High Court to protect his identity until November 2021.  At a hearing in London on Tuesday (January 14), his barrister, Adam Wolanski QC, said Boy B is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and that 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: “The evidence shows that there is a real risk that, if the claimant is identified now as ‘Boy B’, this will cause serious harm to this vulnerable boy’s welfare.  “Specifically, it will result in him having to move school, with a highly uncertain prospect of finding another school and of suffering serious psychological difficulty.”  Mr Wolanski added that finishing his education – which he described as ‘a lifeline’ for Boy B – is ‘vitally important for his rehabilitation’, and that ‘identification now may very well bring that education to an end’.  He told Mrs Justice Steyn that his client ‘has never sought to minimise the seriousness of the crime he committed’, adding: “He has paid a very heavy price for it already and he will continue to pay a very heavy price for it, in all possibility for the rest of his life.  “It will haunt him forever.”  He added that Boy B had ‘repeatedly expressed profound remorse for committing the offence’.  Mr Wolanski said that ‘community feeling’ about Yousef’s killing was still ‘very high’, adding: “There is still a very heated discussion and debate which is going on about the events of March 2019 and the trial that followed, and that is unlikely to abate any time soon.” Read more of today’s top stories  He submitted that ‘misreporting’ of Boy B’s role in the incident had caused ‘widespread misunderstanding on social media of his role… this is so embedded, this idea that he was tried for

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