Olivia Pratt-Korbel screamed ‘Mum, I’m scared’ seconds before she was shot, court told


Nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel screamed “Mum, I’m scared” seconds before she was shot dead in her own home, a court has been told.

Olivia was killed on 22 August last year as a gunman chased convicted burglar Joseph Nee into her home. Her mother, Cheryl Korbel, 46, was injured in the shooting.

Thomas Cashman, 34, is on trial for her murder, which he denies.

Ms Korbel had opened the front door after hearing commotion outside when Mr Nee, who had been shot and was bleeding and injured, ran towards the doorway and tried to barge in to escape.

Ms Korbel was “in a panic” and screaming at Mr Nee banging on the door and tried to shut it on him, as Cashman allegedly pursued his target and fired again with a revolver.

The bullet missed Mr Nee, went through the front door, through Ms Korbel’s right hand and hit Olivia in the chest.

Cheryl Korbel (C), mother of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel, arrives with family members at Manchester Crown Court for the trial of Thomas Cashman
Cheryl Korbel, centre, mother of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, arrives with family members at Manchester Crown Court for the trial of Thomas Cashman

‘Mum, I’m scared’

David McLachlan KC, opening the case for the prosecution, told the jury: “Cheryl Korbel said ‘I’ve been shot’.

“She turned round and saw her daughter, Olivia, at the bottom of the stairs – she referred to her as ‘the baby’, as we do in this area.

“She said ‘I remember when I turned round and realised the baby was right behind me… because she’d come… obviously come down the stairs ’cause she’d heard.

“… she went all floppy and her eyes went to the back of her head.

“And I realised that she must’ve been hit – because I didn’t know until then – and I lifted her top up and the bullet had got her right in the middle of the chest.'”

Jurors were told that Olivia’s older brother, Ryan Korbel, described the schoolgirl running downstairs screaming: “Mum, I’m scared.”

Her sister, Chloe Korbel, heard their mother screaming that “Livia had been hit”.

Ms Korbel was heard saying “stay with me, baby”.

Read more:
Jurors told not to be influenced by their emotions

Gunman fires several shots

Mr McLachlan said Cashman, 34, had two loaded firearms in his possession on the night of the shooting and was “lying in wait” for Mr Nee, who was “without doubt the intended target”.

He said Mr Nee was watching a football match at the house of Timothy Naylor in Dovecot, Liverpool, and when he left the house at around 10pm a gunman, who the prosecution alleges was Cashman, ran behind him and fired three shots from a self-loading pistol, one of which hit Mr Nee in the midriff.

Mr Nee stumbled and Cashman stood over him and tried to fire again but, possibly because the pistol malfunctioned, he was unable to complete his “task” and kill Mr Nee, Mr McLachlan said.

The fatal shot

The prosecutor said Ms Korbel opened her front door after hearing a noise outside and as she did so Mr Nee “made a dash” towards her house, with Cashman in pursuit.

Cashman fired at Mr Nee from a second weapon, a revolver, and hit the front door of the family home, the court heard.

Mr McLachlan said: “That fourth likely shot passed through the door, it then passed through Cheryl Korbel’s right hand as she was no doubt trying to shut the door. The bullet then went into the chest of Cheryl Korbel’s daughter Olivia Pratt-Korbel.”

Mr Nee managed to get inside the house and Cashman allegedly fired again into the door frame, after getting his arm around the door. He then ran away.

Mr Nee had stumbled out of the house, collapsed in the middle of the road and used his mobile phone before being picked up by five men in a black car before police arrived.

Olivia was pronounced dead at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital later that night.

Shooting went ‘horribly wrong’

Mr McLachlan said: “The shooting had gone horribly wrong.

“This is what this case is all about. This is serious business, as you will appreciate.

“The prosecution say it’s about the ruthless pursuit by Thomas Cashman to shoot Joseph Nee at all costs without any consideration for anyone else in the community.

“Thomas Cashman’s actions resulted in Joseph Nee being injured, Cheryl Korbel being injured and, most tragically of all in this case, Olivia Pratt-Korbel being killed.”

Cashman, of Grenadier Drive, Liverpool, denies the murder of Olivia, the attempted murder of Mr Nee, wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm to Ms Korbel and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.

Articles You May Like

Gladiators star Falcon dies aged 59
Bodycam video shows moment Nashville school attacker was shot dead by police
Apple launches its Pay Later service
‘Split-screening’ – how children are watching even more online videos
Union one step away from fresh Royal Mail strikes