Olivia Pratt Korbel: Thomas Cashman sentenced for murder at Manchester Crown Court

Cashman, 34, was found guilty last week of murdering the nine-year-old and the wounding with intent of her mother Cheryl Korbel, 46

Thomas Cashman, 34, has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 42 years at Manchester Crown Court for the murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel who was shot in her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, last August.

The killer of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel has been jailed for a minimum term of 42 years.

Thomas Cashman, 34, refused to appear in the dock to be sentenced to life imprisonment at Manchester Crown Court on Monday after a jury found him guilty last week of murdering the schoolgirl in her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, on August 22 last year.

Olivia’s mother Cheryl Korbel, 46, took a teddy made from her daughter’s pyjamas into the witness box with her as she told the court: “I cannot get my head around how Cashman continued to shoot after hearing the terrified screams and utter devastation he had caused.

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

“That man set out to do a job and he didn’t care about anyone else or who got in the way. He certainly couldn’t own it either.”

John Cooper KC, defending, told the court Cashman did not want to attend because he felt the matter was “turning into a circus”.

Mrs Justice Yip said she would sentence the defendant in his absence, adding: “I have made it clear that I do regard it as being disrespectful.”

The trial, which lasted almost four weeks, heard Cashman had been “scoping out” intended target Joseph Nee, a convicted drug dealer, on the day of Olivia’s death.

The jury was told he lay in wait for Nee on Kingsheath Avenue, armed with two guns, and then chased him, firing three shots in the street, when Nee left a house shortly before 10pm.

Nee ran towards the open door of Olivia’s home after her mother went out to see what the noise was, the court heard.

The bullet which killed Olivia was fired through the front door, hitting the wrist of Ms Korbel, who was trying to hold the door shut, before striking Olivia in the chest.

A woman who had a fling with Cashman told the jury he came to her house after the shooting, where he changed his clothes and she heard him say he had “done Joey”.

During his evidence, Cashman admitted being a “high-level” cannabis dealer.

But the father of two told the court: “I’m not a killer, I’m a dad.”

The jury took more than nine hours to find Cashman guilty of Olivia’s murder, the attempted murder of Nee, the wounding with intent of Ms Korbel and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.