Man guilty of murdering Olivia Pratt-Korbel, 9, in doorstep shooting

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    The man accused of murdering Olivia Pratt-Korbel has been found guilty.

    Thomas Cashman was convicted by a jury of 10 men and two women at Manchester Crown Court today (March 30) after he was accused of killing the nine-year-old last year.

    Olivia died on August 22 after a rogue bullet passed through the front door of her family's home, on Kingsheath Avenue in Dovecot, Liverpool, hitting her mum, Cheryl Korbel, in the hand before striking her in the chest.

    READ MORE: Olivia Pratt-Korbel's mum says 'I will never say goodbye' at murdered girl's funeral

    The child was rushed to nearby Alder Hey Children's Hospital by two police officers attending the scene but was pronounced dead at 11.24pm that night.

    Cashman was also found guilty of the attempted murder of the intended target of the shooting Joseph Nee, 36, wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm to Olivia’s mother Cheryl Korbel, 46, and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

    The court heard the gunman was chasing 36-year-old Nee, who came crashing through the front door of the property while running from his pursuer.

    In a video of a police interview played before the court earlier this month, the heartbroken recalled the moments after her daughter was hit by the stray bullet.

    "I couldn't keep her awake. She went all floppy and her eyes went to the back of her head and I realised that she must have 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," Ms Korbel said between sobs.

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    Cashman pleaded not guilty to murder last December following the incident and his trial began on Monday, March 6.

    He has also pleaded not guilty to charges of attempting to murder Joseph Nee and wounding with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm against Olivia's mum, Cheryl Korbel, as well as two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, and denied any involvement in the shooting.

    Meanwhile, Merseyside Police previously identified a Glock 9mm pistol (pictured) and a .38 revolver were both used in the shooting.

    Last week Cashman admitted to being a drug dealer in court but said he "was not a bad drug dealer who sold Class A drugs".

    John Cooper, KC, defending, finished his closimg argument on Tuesday (March 28) saying "there were others who wanted Joseph Nee dead" and claimed the prosecution was "squeezing the evidence to make it fit", which he called "Cinderella syndrome".

    “You may think it really is the prosecution tailoring its theory to fit what evidence they have. Circumstantial evidence of a particularly strong variety can assist," he said, "but that’s if it is strong in the first place. To put it bluntly, zero plus zero equals zero.

    "That circumstantial evidence has to have some quality to it. But it is weak and of no assistance to you whatsoever, and in many respects defies logic."

    In his own closing speech on Monday, prosecutor David McLachlan, KC, said Cashman had tried to "pull the wool over" the jury's eyes and said a "common sense" reading of the evidence presented would result in a guilty verdict.

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