A deeply emotive account of a teenage stabbing in Manchester that raises questions about the role of class and race in the justice system.
Losing a child is an unthinkable, unbearable, life-changing event. Losing a child to a horrific knife crime at the hands of a so-called friend adds an extra element of heartbreak. When Yousef Makki, a bright 17-year-old with everything to live for, was stabbed through the heart by a privileged school friend in March 2019, the grief felt by his family was too much to bear. But when Yousef’s killer was cleared of all murder and manslaughter charges just months later, it awakened in them all an inner calling: to fight for justice for Yousef. Narrated by Yousef’s older sister Jade Akoum, The Boy with a Pound in his Pocket is a powerful, poignant exploration of the events leading up to and after Yousef’s killing. It is a celebration of the young man that Yousef had become, but an equally tragic account of the weaknesses that Jade’s family see rooted in the British justice system. Presented with the facts, can we really argue that wealth and class played no part in the sentencing of Yousef’s killer? And would a black teenager from a neighbouring council estate have received the same sentencing? Although this is a moving, personal story about Yousef Makki’s case, it is a hugely valuable one for society as a whole. It holds up a mirror to the system, and those working within it – but most importantly, it reminds us that knives remain a real and terrifying threat to all sections of UK society. A thought-provoking, gut-wrenching and important read.
On March 2nd, 2019, Yousef Makki, a scholarship pupil at Manchester Grammar school, was stabbed in the heart by one of his friends on a quiet, leafy street in the wealthy Manchester suburb of Hale Barns.
The two boys who were with him as the 17-year-old lay dying from a 12cm deep knife wound were brought up in the affluent surrounding areas and like Yousef had attended expensive public schools. But unlike them, Yousef was not from a wealthy family. He grew up seven miles and a world away on a council estate in Burnage and won a life changing bursary to a prestigious grammar school.
Just four months after Yousef was killed, a jury found his friend not guilty of murder or manslaughter. The outcome has been widely questioned, raising issues of class, wealth, and privilege in the justice system.
Yousef died from a single stab wound to the chest. When his sister, Jade, collected his blood-stained clothes and personal possessions, he had a single pound coin in his pocket.
This is Jade's personal story of her brother and how the fight for justice has transformed her life.
|Publication date:||28th April 2022|
|Author:||Jade Akoum, Joe Cusack, Ann Cusack|
|Primary Genre||Biographies & Autobiographies|
Closing date: 05/06/2022