Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

Family mourn 'Lebanese Don' as murder charge is laid

Aunt Desiree Makki said she couldn't believe the incident had happened in the “very safe” UK

Yousef Makki was fatally stabbed in Hale Barns, Britain on Sunday. Reuters
Yousef Makki was fatally stabbed in Hale Barns, Britain on Sunday. Reuters

The aunt of a British boy stabbed to death in the UK last weekend has paid tribute to her “conscientious and affectionate” nephew.

Yousef Makki, 17, was killed in Greater Manchester on Saturday. Two teenagers were arrested following the incident. One 17 year old has been charged with murder and possession of a bladed article and another with possession of a bladed article and assisting an offender.

Desiree Makki, Yousef Makki’s paternal aunt, still lives in his father’s native Lebanon and keeps in close contact with the family. Mr Makki’s father Ghaleb moved to the UK from Lebanon 20 years ago before meeting his British wife Deborah and settling down.

In an emotional interview, Mrs Makki told the Daily Mail newspaper she could not comprehend that violence of that nature could happen in the UK, which she deemed “very safe”.

“How has Yousef gone? How has he gone, and in a very safe country?,” she said.

“A country that respects humans. I don’t know. He doesn’t deserve to go this way, especially in Britain. There is no war.

“He’s not a memory, he will be with us forever,” he said. “He was not able to achieve the things he would achieved.”

Mrs Makki said she has always wished to bring her own children to the UK to keep them safe in an unstable region.

“I have children here and I fear for them in Lebanon. There’s always security issues with Israel,” she said.

Mr Makki was a scholarship student at the prestigious Manchester Grammar private school, which held two minutes of silence in his memory on Monday morning. His family said he was a promising student who hoped to become a heart surgeon. Flower tributes mourned the loss of the “Lebanese Don” as Makki referred to himself on social media.

The family lived in a mid-terrace housing association home. His mother Deborah Makki volunteered from homeless charities outside of work and his father Ghaleb worked in sales. The family holidayed in the UK and in his father’s homeland.

Mr Makki's immediate family praised their “loving and caring son and brother” in a statement.

"We are absolutely devastated and cannot believe that our son has gone. This senseless loss has affected the whole community," they said.

The two charged in his murder will appear before a judge on Wednesday.

Updated: March 6, 2019 03:32 PM

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