A thug gangster who was mocked in court for having a small penis has been jailed for life over the murder of innocent nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel.
Thomas Cashman, 34, was found guilty on Friday (March 30) of murdering the nine-year-old and the wounding with intent of her mother Cheryl Korbel, 46, as he chased convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee into their home on August 22 last year.
The jury also found him guilty of the attempted murder of Nee and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
The verdicts were unanimous on all counts.
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On Monday (April 3) the heartless child-killer was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 42 years at Manchester Crown Court.
He was also sentenced to life in prison, serving a minimum of 22 years, for the attempted murder of his intended target Joseph Nee, and got an additional 10 years in prison for wounding Olivia's mum Cheryl.
For the remaining two firearms offences, Cashman was sentenced to 18 years for each.
The cowardly drug dealer refused to attend his own sentencing in one last act of spite to Olivia's family, who had gathered to watch justice done.
His lawyer, John Cooper KC, said that Cashman was not attending the hearing as he was aware that the CPS were singing “We are the Champions” following the verdict in his trial.
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The barrister said: “He has been spoken to and been given certain advice but he is concerned that the matter is turning into a circus.”
Mrs Justice Yip, presiding over the hearing, said Cashman’s refusal to attend the proceedings was “disrespectful” to not only the court but to the family of the deceased.
No members of Cashman's family were in attendance.
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Mrs Justice Yip, presiding over the hearing, said: "For the murder of Olivia there is only once sentence that can be passed. That is of mandatory life imprisonment."
The judge said that mum Cheryl should have been able to reassure Olivia and "tuck her back into bed".
"What happened instead was chilling."
"The real gravity is that a young child was shot and killed in her own home," she said.
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Court buildings were guarded by armed police throughout Monday morning after threats were allegedly made against Cashman's life by notorious Liverpool gang leaders.
The long-running murder trial had previously heard distressing details of how Cashman – who describes himself as a "high level" drug dealer – blindly fired two shots as he sought to execute convicted burglar dealer Joseph Nee in a residential street in Liverpool.
The bullets went into the home of Olivia’s mum Cheryl Korbel after 35-year-old Nee barged inside in a desperate bid to save his own life.
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One shot passed through the front door, through mum Cheryl’s right wrist, and into the chest of primary school pupil Olivia, who ran down the stairs of her home after hearing a commotion, fearing for her mum's life.
She was tragically declared dead at hospital later that night.
A post-mortem examination showed the young girl had suffered three gunshot wounds caused by a single bullet, which went into her chest, exited the chest and became embedded in her upper arm.
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The judge said that Cashman was "undeterred and wholly unconcerned" for other people when he chose to continue to shoot into Korbel's home last August.
She added that while Cashman did not know Olivia was behind the door, he saw her mother Cheryl.
"He knew that a wholly innocent woman was by the door, and yet that is where he chose to take aim.. if he'd only paused for a moment he'd have thought this was a family home," she said.
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Reading her victim statement to the court, Cheryl said: “The night I realised Liv had been shot, I was not able to do CPR properly because of my injury. I did not have full use of my hand and I felt helpless. My neighbour tried all he could to save my baby. My worst nightmare was being separated from Liv and not being there when she needed me most.
“I cannot get my head around how Cashman continued to shoot after hearing the terrifying screams.
“The utter devastation he has caused, he doesn’t care. How could he?”
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She continued: "Ms Korbel continues: “His actions have left the biggest hole in our lives that can never be filled.
“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. Ryan, Chloe and I are just existing day to day. We have been waiting for the trial and not addressing how broken we are as a family. I can’t think about rebuilding our lives without her."
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Olivia's death sparked a massive police investigation that saw Merseyside Police make the unusual decision to call on Liverpool's criminal underworld to turn Cashman in.
He was arrested on September 4 in Runcorn and told officers: “You stupid c****, youse are stitching me up for whatever it is, what’s it for? What have I done, go on?”
When he was told he was being arrested on suspicion of murder, he said: “Youse are mad.”
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After being told the circumstances of his arrest, he declared: “That’s a load of bulls**t. Everything that said is a load of s**t and I’ve done nothing. It’s nothing to do with me.”
In interview he gave a prepared statement saying he had no involvement and then answered “no comment”.
The father-of-two maintained through the trial that around the time of the shooting he had been at a friend’s house where he counted £10,000 in cash and smoked a spliff.
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During his evidence, he told the court: “I’m not a killer, I’m a dad.”
But 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”.
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