Thomas Cashman: 34-year-old charged with murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel

A second man has been charged with assisting an offender with both defendants set to appear at Liverpool Magistrates' Court on Monday

Olivia Pratt-Korbel was shot in the chest at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, in August. PA
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A man has been charged with murdering Olivia Pratt-Korbel six weeks after she was shot in the chest at her home in Liverpool.

Thomas Cashman, 34, of West Derby, is accused of killing nine-year-old Olivia, who died after convicted burglar Joseph Nee was chased into her family's property in Dovecot on August 22.

Mr Cashman has also been charged with the attempted murders of Olivia's mother, Cheryl Korbel, 46, who was injured during the incident, and Nee.

He faces two further counts of possessing a firearm to endanger life.

A second man, Paul Russell, 40, of West Derby, has been charged with assisting an offender.

Both defendants will appear at Liverpool Magistrates' Court on Monday, Chief Crown Prosecutor Maria Corr said at a press conference at Merseyside Police headquarters on Saturday.

Ms Corr said the charges had been authorised following “the review of a file of evidence received from Merseyside Police”.

Thomas Cashman allegedly also shot at Oliva's mother, Cheryl Korbel, seen here at her daughter's funeral last month. Getty

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen said the police remained committed to finding all those involved in the incident, including “the people who have tried to shield and protect individuals”.

“Our work continues in earnest. At the beginning of the investigation, we were firm in our commitment to finding all of those involved in this case, which includes the people who have tried to shield and protect individuals, and those who have supplied the weapon or are hiding the weapons used in this incident,” Mr Kameen said.

“We have had an overwhelming response and support from the public since the murder of Olivia, and I would ask for your continued support so we can keep the promise we made to Olivia's family and the local community to ensure that those involved face justice.”

There have been 11 arrests in connection with Olivia's death so far, with nine men detained as part of the wide-scale investigation, all of whom were bailed.

The Crimestoppers reward for information to catch the alleged killer was also increased to £200,000, the charity's biggest single offer yet.

Classmates of Olivia were sharing their memories of her and receiving counselling since returning to school after her death, her head teacher said.

Rebecca Wilkinson, head teacher of St Margaret Mary's Catholic Junior School in Huyton, said the 9-year-old “oozed kindness” and would be remembered for her smile.

“We have had counsellors in every class,” she said.

“(The children) are devastated at the loss of their friend, they truly are, but the counselling has definitely helped and we have been so proud of the resilience the children have shown since they've been back.”

Olivia's funeral was held at St Margaret Mary's Church in Knotty Ash.

Pink ties, jackets, scarves and bows were worn by those attending the service after her family asked people to wear a “splash of pink”.

Ms Korbel carried a pink teddy bear into the service, during which she said: “Liv touched so many people's hearts and was loved and adored by everyone. She will never be forgotten.

“I will never say goodbye but what I will say is goodnight, love you, see you in the morning.”

Updated: October 02, 2022, 4:10 AM
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