Candlelit vigil

Mother of Yousef Makki speaks out about devastating effects of knife crime in emotional address

  • People gather at Manchester Cathedral for knife crime summit
  • Candlelit vigil takes place outside doors with people holding signs
  • Yousef Makki’s mother gives emotional testimonial 

Debbie Makki, mother of student Yousef Makki who was stabbed to death earlier this year, gave an emotional address at a summit organised to raise awareness of knife crime. 

The event took place at Manchester Cathedral after a vigil outside where people held signs and candles to publicise the menace of knife crime affecting young people.

A crowd of about 300 people gathered inside to listen to speeches and testimonials about the effects of knife crime on communities and families.

Debbie Makki told those assembled: “The reality of knife crime is, unless you have lost a loved one, especially a child, knowing you can’t touch your child because he is now a piece of forensic evidence.

“My boy, who I have protected for years and watched him grow into a loving, beautiful and intelligent young man, was never going to walk into my room again.”

The vigil saw a crowd of people standing in silence outside the doors with everyone being encouraged to come forward and stand for the victims.

Nighat Awan, who helped to organise the event alongside the Dean of the Cathedral, said: “Very often you go back into your own world and then you lose a life, so we need to be vigilant. 

“The only people that can’t sleep on this one is the people that have lost their children or whose children have actually done it.

“The only people that can’t sleep at night are those people so let’s help them.”

Straight-A student Yousef Makki was knifed by Joshua Molar who was cleared of manslaughter and murder. He later admitted to possessing the knife and perverting the cause of justice.

Ruba Khaled, a campaigner against knife crime, said: “We are all here to stand by each other no matter what our origins. We are here to fight against knife crime.

“We really need to work harder to change the law for better and we need to raise awareness amongst teenagers. We need to tell them the impact of carrying the knife and what the risks are.

“The people here today are from all nationalities, they are here to stand by each other and say drop the knife and call for peace.

“I think they haven’t chosen the right verdict and justice has not been done.”