Little Olivia’s desperate and wounded mum couldn’t hold her dying girl

Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s family release videos of daughter

Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s heartbroken mum revealed her desperate attempt to save her nine-year-old daughter who had been shot in her home in Liverpool. Cheryl Korbel said she had tried to deliver CPR to Olivia but was unable to after being shot in the hand by gunman Thomas Cashman. Olivia was shot in her home on Kingsheath Avenue in Dovecot, Liverpool, in August 2022.

Ms Korbel described returning to the family home after Olivia’s death. She said: “Right in that moment I was home, we were back to how our lives were before that night and I soaked up the surroundings until reality dawned and brought me back to my living nightmare.”

She said she was unable to give CPR to Olivia properly because she had been injured. She added: “My worst nightmare was being separated from Liv, not being with her when she needed me the most. I was the first person to hold my baby girl and as her mum I should have been the last.

“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.”

Thomas Cashman was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison after a three and a half week trial at Manchester Crown Court.

The court heard how Cashman “lay in wait” for Joseph Nee while armed with two loaded guns as he watched a Liverpool FC v Manchester United football match on the television at his friend Timmy Naylor’s house on Finch Lane.

When Nee left the address with another man, Paul Abraham, Cashman approached them from behind and opened fire with a Glock-style pistol.

Nee, a convicted burglar and drug dealer, was shot in the midriff and stumbled to the floor.

David McLachlan KC, prosecuting, described how Cashman had “murder on his mind” and stood over the helpless man and attempted to discharge the firearm again as he begged: “Please don’t. Don’t lad”.

But the gun malfunctioned, and Nee was able to escape. Cashman however continued his “ruthless pursuit” as he fled towards the Korbel family home.

Olivia’s mum, Cheryl, had stood outside after hearing gunshots to investigate but quickly rushed back inside when she saw Nee running her way. Cheryl, 46, attempted to keep Nee out of the family home but was unable to close the door that had been left on latch.

The assailant fired another shot with a second, backup weapon – a 0.3 calibre revolver – at this point. This was the shot which claimed Olivia’s life, the bullet passing through the door and travelling through her mum’s hand before striking her in the chest.

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Olivia had been in bed upstairs but ran to the bottom of the stairs as she said “mummy, I’m scared”. Cashman then forced his arm around the door and fired one final shot with Nee inside – which became lodged in the door frame.

Olivia was rushed to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital but was pronounced dead shortly before 11.30pm.

There were emotional scenes in court as Cheryl Korbel recounted the tragedy in a video interview with police, which was played to the jury.

In it, she said: “I heard the baby screaming, that’s when I turned round and spotted her sat at the bottom of the stairs. I couldn’t keep her awake. I knew she’d gone. I knew she’d gone.”

Thomas Cashman was sentenced to life with a minimum of 42 years behind bars.

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