Killer Cashman’s ex has had ‘most death threats’ force has ever seen

CCTV footage of Thomas Cashman shooting victim

The former lover of Thomas Cashman, who was last week convicted of murdering nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel, has received a barrage of death threats since appearing in court. Merseyside Police commended the anonymous woman after she bravely delivered evidence at Manchester Crown Court during Cashman’s three-and-a-half-week trial that blew apart his testimony. But, she has paid the price for her honesty, as she has received the highest volume of death threats the force has ever had to deal with.

The woman was seen delivering evidence from behind a screen during the trial, which concluded last week, as she served as a star witness for the prosecution.

Her testimony helped dismantle Cashman’s alibi from the night of young Olivia’s murder. The drug dealer claimed that he was with a friend on the night of August 22, 2022, counting £10,000 in cash and smoking cannabis.

But his former lover told how he had sought refuge at her home, waking her up in the middle of the night and telling her boyfriend, Paul Russell, how he had “done Joey”, a reference to Joseph Nee, his intended target that night.

She explained that Russell had driven the killer to his van and taken away the pile of clothes he wore as Olivia was killed.

The woman also told how she “put two and two together” following news of the nine-year-old’s death and broke down.

She concluded: “There is no such thing as a grass when it involves a nine-year-old.”

But the criminal underworld has not seen it that way, with the Daily Mail reporting that recorded death threats have surpassed the highest number Merseyside Police has ever seen.

Police have praised her for delivering testimony against Cashman, with whom she confessed she was “infatuated”.

Merseyside Detective Superintendent Mark Baker said he had “never seen such bravery” in his three decades as a police officer.

Speaking after the case, he said: “We hoped and prayed, through our witness appeal, that a witness of this nature would come forward. She showed incredible bravery. Probably in my 30-year service, I’ve never seen such bravery.”

The court heard that the witness was alone in fighting her former lover, with others unwilling to come forward.

Mrs Justice Yip – who is overseeing the trial and will sentence Cashman on Monday, April 3 – was told at a hearing before it began that one witness had not attended the building as ordered by a summons.

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He refused to go into the courtroom and deliver evidence, fearing for his and his family’s lives.

Prosecutor Henry Riding said that officers “took the view he is genuinely petrified of having to give evidence”. 

Having gone through with her testimony, the star witness will now enter witness protection. The National Crime Agency (NCA) Protected Persons Service will ensure she can live out the rest of her life in anonymity.

She has reportedly moved out of Liverpool and must now conceal her identity. And, she may also end up cut off from her loved ones, with fears that any identification could lead to additional threats to her life.

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