A schoolboy who killed his friend with a knife must live with the responsibility for the rest of his life, his mother said as she agreed for him to be named for the first time.
Joshua Molnar, who turns 18 on Tuesday, admitted stabbing Yousef Makki, 17, in the heart after an argument. He said he was acting in self-defence, and was found not guilty of murder or manslaughter, but was given a 16-month detention and training order for carrying a knife and perverting the course of justice.
His mother Stephanie said her son “fully accepts responsibility” for his friend’s death.
“Circumstances on the night of March 2 led to our son Joshua accidentally killing his friend Yousef with a knife whilst defending himself against a knife,” Ms Molnar said in a statement.
“The events of that night were a tragedy. These were three friends going out on a Saturday. They should all still be here to lead fulfilling lives but they are not. I cannot imagine what Yousef’s parents and family must be going through ... Joshua fully accepts responsibility for Yousef’s death in the act of self-defence and the impact of this acceptance is massive.
“He will have to live with the responsibility ... for the rest of his life. We are also acutely aware that the hurt and loss that Yousef’s family is experiencing are infinitely greater than anything we are going through and nothing I can say can make up for or change that.”
However, Mr Makki’s family are appealing against the conviction and his sister Jade Akoum, 28, told The Sunday Telegraph that she found Ms Molnar’s words “offensive” and “self serving”.
“I thought a normal thing to do would be to apologise and lay low. I wouldn’t want their help and I don’t want to forgive them. They haven’t once reached out to us,” she said.
“Saying they want to celebrate Yousef’s life? Your son killed my brother.”
“The utter devastation on our lives is indescribable. The injustice of everything will remain with us forever,” said Ms Akoum, who still believes that her brother’s death was not an accident.
Ms Akoum says that now, she just wants young people to put their knives down.
“Think of all the heartache it causes families. It’s just not worth it.”
A teenager who stabbed solicitor Peter Duncan to death with a screwdriver in Newcastle on Aug 18 has been named after a court order granting anonymity expired today. Ewan Ireland, 18, admitted murdering Mr Duncan, 52, and possessing an offensive weapon at Leeds Crown Court last month. He is due to be sentenced in December.