Mother of stabbed teen dies of 'a broken heart' aged 55

Martin Evans
Debbie Makki (centre), the mother of dead student Yousef Makki , who has died - PA

The mother of a promising grammar school boy, who was stabbed to death in an affluent Cheshire village last year, has died after struggling to come to terms with the tragedy, her family have confirmed.

Yousef Makki, 17, a scholarship boy at Manchester Grammar School, who dreamed of becoming a surgeon, was knifed in the heart by his friend, Joshua Molnar, 18, during a fight in upmarket Hale Barns on March 2 last year.

The death of his mother Debbie Makki, at the age of 55, was confirmed on Sunday.

In a statement her family said she had been unable to deal with the grief and trauma of losing her son in violent circumstances.

They said she had also struggled to deal with the isolation of life under lockdown.

Yousef Makki - PA

In a statement her family said: “It is with a broken heart that we have to share this devastating news: our beloved Mum and Nana, so loved by everyone who knew her, died in the early hours of this morning. 

“She was rushed to hospital via ambulance two days ago after struggling at home. The doctors told us she was critical. She was not strong enough to fight. 

“Lockdown isolated my mum from her grandchildren who kept her going and she had too much time to think about the loss of Yousef - and the stark injustice and inhumane treatment of our family that followed.”

photo dated 18/6/2019 of Joshua Molnar arriving at Manchester Crown Court. The teenager acquitted of murdering Manchester Grammar School pupil - PA

Molnar, from a wealthy Cheshire family, was cleared of Yousef's murder and manslaughter following a trial at Manchester Crown Court last July when he claimed he acted in self-defence.

He admitted possession of a knife and perverting the course of justice and was given 16 months in custody.

Adam Chowdhary, 18, was convicted of possession of a knife and sentenced to a four-month detention order.

He was cleared of perverting the course of justice and along with Molnar was found not guilty of a single charge of conspiracy to robbery.

Mrs Makki’s family said she had been left wondering why Molnar and Chowdhary had never contacted her after the killing.

They said: “It kept her awake most nights - she literally never slept. We were unable to be with her in her last moments, just as we were unable to be with Yousef - but they are together now which brings us some comfort. Our world has fallen apart all over again and we are all in complete shock.”

Yousef’s sister, Jade Aksum, said: “My mum's mental and physical health had deteriorated dramatically over the past year and she hadn’t been the same since Yousef was murdered. 

“Her heart was broken and the spark in her eyes had gone. The toll of losing Yousef was colossal, but the injustice and the constant uphill battle we had to fight meant she never found peace. 

She added: “My mum was the strongest, bravest lady I have ever met and we will miss her dearly.”

Ms Makki and the family have been calling for a full inquest into Yousef's death, and at a pre-inquest hearing in February their legal representative Matthew Stanbury said matters surrounding the teenager's death "have not been sufficiently aired".

In October, Ms Makki gave a speech at an anti-knife crime summit in Manchester.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham was among those to pay tribute to her.

He wrote on Twitter: "So so sorry to hear this news. And after everything the family has been through.

"Debbie was such a lovely person and deserved so much more. My love to them all.”