Thomas Cashman: Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s killer jailed for life

Olivia Pratt-KorbelFamily handout

The man who murdered nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel has been jailed for life and must serve a minimum of 42 years.

Thomas Cashman, 34, refused to go into the dock for the sentencing and none of his family were present in court.

He fatally shot Olivia and injured her mother Cheryl Korbel as he chased a fellow drug dealer into their Liverpool home on the evening of 22 August.

The judge said his failure to appear was “disrespectful” to Olivia’s family.

John Cooper KC, defending, said Cashman had not attended the hearing as he claimed the Crown Prosecution Service were singing “We are the Champions” following his conviction.

He said Cashman was concerned it was “turning into a circus”.

During sentencing in his absence at Manchester Crown Court, Mrs Justice Amanda Yip said drug dealer Cashman was “not of previous good character” and had made it quite clear he was a criminal and had “demonstrated no remorse”.

“His failure to come into court is further evidence of that.”

Thomas Cashman

Merseyside Police

Ms Korbel was in tears clutching a teddy made from her daughter’s pyjamas as she made her victim impact statement in the witness box.

“I cannot get my head around how Cashman continued to shoot after hearing the terrified screams and utter devastation he had caused,” she said.

“He doesn’t care. His actions have left the biggest hole in our lives.”

Cheryl Korbel arriving at court

PA Media

She added: “It’s so very quiet without her, I just can’t cope with the silence.”

Ms Korbel told the court every afternoon she thought about the end of the school day, adding: “My mind keeps telling me that I’ve forgotten to pick her up from school.”

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.

Cashman was found guilty of murdering Olivia after a trial which lasted more than three weeks.

The jury heard 36-year-old Joseph Nee was the intended target of the attack and Cashman, armed with two guns, has been “lying in wait” for his fellow drug dealer.

Olivia’s father John Pratt said in his victim impact statement he was “heartbroken” and had “nightmares about how she died, and the nightmares won’t go away”.

Directed at Cashman, he said: “You have denied my beautiful girl Olivia her future… I will never see her on her wedding day, and walk her down the aisle… and see her grow into the beautiful woman she was destined to become.

“We have been robbed of her future. Because of you she will be forever nine.”

BBC iPlayer

BBC Panorama investigates how Liverpool came to dominate the UK drug market and how organised crime brought death to Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s door.

BBC iPlayer

Presentational grey line

At Manchester Crown Court

Judith Moritz, BBC North of England Correspondent

There were gasps from the public gallery as the sentence was announced.

Olivia’s mum Cheryl and other relatives were crying, while some police officers were also tearful.

Outside the courtroom, Olivia’s mum and aunties are hugging and crying.

This isn’t just about justice for the nine-year-old and her family. It’s also a moment for the whole community in Dovecot, Liverpool.

The lengthy imprisonment of Thomas Cashman will reassure those he intimidated, and who lived in fear of him. They may feel a bit safer as a result.

But it won’t solve the bigger issues which allowed him to flourish. The drugs trade will continue, and the availability of firearms is still a problem.

The jailing of Cashman is a big victory for the police. But they know there’s still much to do, to clean up the streets where he operated.

Presentational grey line

Commenting on Cashman’s refusal to enter the dock, a Ministry of Justice source said: “Olivia Pratt-Korbel and her family weren’t able to hide from Thomas Cashman’s crime – so he shouldn’t be able to hide from justice.

“This is exactly why the Deputy Prime Minister [Dominic Raab] is committed to changing the law so that offenders are forced to face the consequences of their actions.”

After Zara Aleena’s killer refused to appear in court for sentencing, Mr Raab said he was examining whether judges should be able to impose longer terms on those who did so.

Presentational grey line

Why not follow BBC North West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You can also send story ideas to

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Turkish election victory for Erdogan leaves nation divided
Ukraine war: General Kyrylo Budanov promises revenge after latest Kyiv attack
Ukraine war: Russian air strikes target Kyiv for third night running
Artificial intelligence could lead to extinction, experts warn
Ukraine war: The mothers going to get their children back from Russia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *