Lebanese family grieves loss of promising son, stabbed to death in Manchester

Makki lived with his mother Deborah, 54, and 15-year-old brother Mazen - his father Ghaleb is thought to be in Lebanon. (Facebook)
Updated 06 March 2019
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Lebanese family grieves loss of promising son, stabbed to death in Manchester

  • Youssef Makki, 17, who was a student at Manchester Grammar School when he was stabbed in the chest on Saturday night
  • Two unnamed 17-year-olds have been arrested and charged with his murder – it is thought they were known to the victim

DUBAI: The family of a Lebanese student, who was killed in the UK’s northern city of Manchester, said they were expecting him home for tea when they got the knock at the door from police  to tell them their son had been stabbed to death.

Youssef Makki, 17, who was a student at Manchester Grammar School when he was stabbed in the chest on Saturday night, British national daily The Telegraph reported.

Two unnamed 17-year-olds have been arrested and charged with his murder – it is thought they were known to the victim.

Now the victim’s family have released an emotional statement expressing their grief.

“Yousef was a loving and caring son and brother and he meant the world to his family,” the joint statement read.

“He was a sporty young man, a dedicated student and so bright. He had everything to look forward to.”

Makki lived with his mother Deborah, 54, and 15-year-old brother Mazen - his father Ghaleb is thought to be in Lebanon.

“We are absolutely devastated and cannot believe that our son has gone. This senseless loss has affected the whole community. Yousef had only phoned home hours earlier to say that he would be home for his tea, but the next knock at the door were officers with the tragic news, it is every parent’s worst nightmare,” the statement continued.

“We would appeal to anyone with information to contact the police and to help us find out what has happened on Saturday evening. Only recently had we talked about his promising life ahead of him and how he was looking forward to life. He was a promising student and loved by everyone,” the statement concluded.

Dr Martin Boulton, the High Master of the school, said Makki was a “young man of such promise,” and said: "It is impossible to make sense of such a senseless act.”

Makki was found conscious lying in the road after the attack by David Beckham’s former bodyguard, Paul Hughes.

“He had one stab wound to the chest. He was half lying in the road and he was conscious and one of my guys was talking to him. At first, he was responding to what my security officer was saying," Hughes said.

The UK is experiencing a significant increase in knife crime – there were 39 children and teenagers killed with knives in 2018 – there have been 10 so far in 2019.


Duterte foes cry foul as Philippine police push sedition charges

Updated 41 min 26 sec ago
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Duterte foes cry foul as Philippine police push sedition charges

  • Thirty-six opposition figures are accused of cyber libel and sedition
  • A series of online videos ahead of May’s mid-term elections alleged that Duterte and his family members were involved in the illegal drugs trade

MANILA: Opponents of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed shock and outrage on Friday at police moves to charge dozens of them with sedition, calling it persecution aimed at stamping out scrutiny of his increasingly powerful rule.
Thirty-six opposition figures are accused of cyber libel and sedition for orchestrating a series of online videos ahead of May’s mid-term elections. The videos feature a hooded man alleging that Duterte and his family members were involved in the illegal drugs trade, which they deny.
The man, who had said he was a witness, later surrendered and appeared with police on television to say his claims were false and that he was cajoled into making the videos by opposition members. They included the vice president, lawyers, Catholic priests, a former attorney general, and incumbent and former lawmakers, the man said.
The justice department is looking into the complaint, which is the latest move against Duterte’s detractors who say the aim is to create a power monopoly for a president who already enjoys a legislative super-majority and a public approval rating of about 80 percent.
Duterte insists he is open to challenges but has shown no qualms about threatening high-profile critics, several of whom he said last month he would jail if they tried to impeach him.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte had no involvement in the police sedition complaint.
“We have nothing to do with this case, not at all, absolutely nothing,” he told news channel ANC. “Let the judicial process do its work.”
Antonio Trillanes, a former senator and Duterte’s strongest critic, described the complaint as “political persecution and harassment” intended to stifle democratic dissent.
A spokesman for Vice President Leni Robredo, who was not Duterte’s running mate and was elected separately, called the complaint “completely baseless.” Her party ally Senator Francis Pangilinan said it was part of a series of moves toward removing her from office.
Leila de Lima, an anti-Duterte senator detained on drugs charges, said it was “hogwash, pure hogwash,” and Samira Gutoc, a candidate in recent Senate elections, urged the police not to become partisan.
“I really am baffled,” Gutoc said of being accused of involvement.