An MP has questioned whether a group of teenagers cleared over the fatal stabbing of a private schoolboy would have been found not guilty if they had been black and state school educated.
Yousef was stabbed in the heart with a knife on a tree-lined street in the upmarket village of Hale Barns, Cheshire.
Two teens, who cannot be named, were charged in connection with his death, and cleared of all charges following a four-week trial at Manchester Crown Court.
You do have to ask if these defendants were black, at state school and from, say, moss side whether they would have been acquitted … https://t.co/VYsSXhMU5M
— Lucy Powell MP (@LucyMPowell) July 12, 2019
After they were cleared, Ms Powell wrote on Twitter: “You do have to ask if these defendants were black, at state school and from, say, moss side whether they would have been acquitted…”
Her tweet sparked a mixed response, with some agreeing with her stance and others questioning whether it was “appropriate” for her to make such a comment.
The pair, identified as Boy A and Boy B, were cleared of multiple charges last Friday.
Boy A denied murder on March 2, claiming he acted in self-defence, and was cleared of the charge.
He admitted perverting the course of justice by lying to police and possession of a flick knife.
Boy B, was cleared of perverting the course of justice by allegedly lying to police about what he had seen but also admitted possession of a flick knife.
Both were also cleared of conspiracy to commit robbery in the lead up to Yousef’s death.
Both defendants still face sentencing for possession of the flick knives, purchased by boy B from an app called Wish.
Boy A also faces sentence for perverting the course of justice.
The court heard the background to the fatal stabbing on Gorse Bank Road, Hale Barns, was that hours earlier, Boy B arranged a £45 cannabis deal and the teenagers planned to rob the drug dealer, a “soft target”.
But the robbery went wrong and Yousef and Boy B fled, leaving Boy A to take a beating.
He then later pushed Yousef who called him a “p****” and punched him in the face.
He told the jury Yousef pulled out a knife and he responded by also taking out a knife and his victim was accidentally stabbed.
As the victim lay dying, the panicking defendants hid the knives in bushes and down a drain, dialled 999.
A local man passing by, a heart surgeon, performed emergency surgery in the back of an ambulance but Yousef suffered catastrophic blood loss.
They told police they had found Yousef stabbed and suggested others were responsible.
Additional reporting by PA.