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Great Britain

Private schoolboy, 17, ‘stabbed to death by teen pal after botched bid to rob a drug dealer of £45 worth of cannabis’

'KNIFED IN THE HEART'

A TALENTED private schoolboy was knifed to death by his rich friend during a fight over a £45 drugs heist gone wrong, a court heard.

Yousef Makki, 17, was killed in posh Hale Barns, Cheshire, popular with Man United footballers after his wealthy mates tried to hold up a cannabis dealer, it is alleged.

The two male pals, both 17, went on trial over the death of the popular half-Lebanese scholarship pupil at £13,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School today.

Boy A is charged with murdering Yousef and Boy B with conspiracy to rob and perverting the course of justice at Manchester Crown Court.

The pair agreed to mug dealer Ali Ezzedine with flick-knives in the upmarket village while Yousef looked on “some distance away” on March 2, it is claimed.

But Boy B was “shocked” when Ezzedine arrived with two pals in his grey VW Polo and he and Yousef fled on their bikes leaving their mate to “take a beating” at 5pm.

He became enraged after the thugs threw his £2,000 bike over a hedge and left him with a black eye so demanded the co-accused's jacket as “security” until they found the cycle.

But he "snatched" the jacket and ripped it sparking a scuffle to break out between the teens at around 6.30pm, jurors heard.

'MY MATE'S BEEN STABBED'

Celebrity bodyguard Michael Bowman, a security patrol officer in the area, spotted the "altercation" and intervened as it looked like "two against one".

The alleged murderer was walking away from the group and when Bowman approached him, the teen said: “I need your help, my mate’s been stabbed.”

Bowman then saw Yousef leaning against a tree “bleeding” and “out of it" and the co-accused calling 999 on two phones.

He asked Boy A who was responsible and the teen told him it was a “grey hatchback” - fitting the description of the dealer’s car, it was said.

Jurors heard both defendants told a witness and cops at the scene they didn’t see what had happened and came round the corner to see Yousef “just lying there”.

Paramedics desperately fought to save the popular pupil’s life but he died from a single stab wound to the chest.

BOY HAD 'HOT TEMPER'

The alleged killer was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder at 10.10pm and the co-accused was arrested at his home that evening, the court heard.

Prosecutor Nick Johnson QC said the teens used the "real event" of their attempted robbery to "lead police in a false trail" and "avoid responsibility".

The next day, Boy A admitted he stabbed Yousef - but described him as “hot tempered” and someone who “can be violent” in police interview.

Giving his account, he claimed the scholarship pupil had come armed with two knives on the day he was killed and had given him one.

He said after he took the co-accused’s coat, Yousef called him a “p***y” for wanting to go home and then “pulled his knife out.”

The boy continued: “He swung at me with his fist striking me on the left side of my head. He shouted, ‘come on then’ or words to that effect.

“I was terrified. He came towards me. I pulled the knife Yousef had given me. I moved my arm forwards with the knife in my hand.

“I think he came onto the knife which must have made things worse. I was acting in self-defence.”

'KILLED IN A PANIC'

The alleged killer said “Yousef was coughing up blood” and he was “upset” so he and Boy B “agreed to make up a story” that the dealers killed their pal “in panic” as he bled to death in front of them.

But the Crown rubbished his statement as “not telling the truth or anything like it”.

Mr Johnson said Boy A "was blaming Yousef" for him having the knives and the stabbing to "avoid responsibility for what he had done".

He said police inquiries show Boy B bought the knife Yousef was killed with, not Yousef, and he did so “in a false name to someone else’s address”.

The teen also admitted to cops he had given the knife to the killer who “was in the habit of carrying a knife” and had two blades on him on arrest, it was said.

He said he carried a blade “to fit in” with the killer due to “peer pressure” adding that the alleged murderer “just flipped” and when he is angry “it was like ‘friendship wouldn’t matter’.”

Mr Johnson said: “Here we are suggesting he got pretty close to the truth.

[The killer] was in a temper and it as in that state that he stabbed Yousef Makki.”

Cops discovered Boy B had put a knife down a drain immediately after the stabbing and he claimed Yousef gave it to him as he lay dying “hinting for him to dispose of it".

Mr Johnson said: “So he was saying that Yousef Makki’s last living act was to hand him a knife to get rid of.

“We suggest that he was adding to the fiction pedalled by [the killer] that Yousef Makki had the knife and was the aggressor.”

The trial continues.

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