A man has been found guilty of fatally shooting Olivia Pratt-Korbel, nine, as he chased a convicted drug dealer into her Liverpool home.
Thomas Cashman, 34, admitted to being a “high-level” cannabis dealer but denied being the gunman in the August 22 incident in Dovecot that also injured Olivia’s mother Cheryl Korbel and the intended target, Joseph Nee.
The men, who Olivia and her mother did not know, forced their way into the house after Olivia’s mother heard noises and opened the front door.
During the three-week trial, the jury heard the schoolgirl run downstairs after hearing shots outside, saying, “I’m scared, mummy, I’m scared.”
Cashman was found guilty of the murder of Olivia, the attempted murder of Nee, wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm to Korbel, and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life by a jury at Manchester Crown Court.
Olivia was killed by a bullet that was fired through the front door, striking her mother in the hand before striking the schoolgirl in the chest.
After three shots were fired from a self-loading pistol on Kingsheath Avenue, Nee was injured and ran towards his house.
The gunman then fired two more shots into the Korbel family home, one of which killed Olivia and the other of which became lodged in the door.
Cashman, a father of two, told the court during his testimony, “I’m not a killer, I’m a dad.”
Cashman’s relatives, including his sister, stormed out of the courtroom, yelling, swearing, and protesting his innocence. As she was escorted out of the courthouse by police officers and court security, she claimed that others, not her brother, were responsible for Olivia’s murder.
The senior investigating officer in the case, Detective Superintendent Mark Baker, called Cashman’s actions “abhorrent.”
“When he discovered he had shot an innocent young girl, he should have had the courage to stand up and come forward,” he said.
“Instead, despite the fact that he was a father himself, he chose to remain silent.”