Olivia Pratt-Korbel: record £200,000 Crimestoppers reward to find gunman who killed Liverpool schoolgirl, 9
Olivia was fatally shot in the chest, after a gunman chased convicted burglar Joseph Nee into her Liverpool home and opened fire.
A record £200,000 reward has been offered by Crimestoppers to find the killer of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel, who was shot dead in her Liverpool home.
Last week, the charity’s founder Lord Ashcroft put up £50,000 for information that leads to the conviction of those responsible for the schoolgirl’s death.
On Wednesday, the reward was increased thanks to the offer of £100,000 from a private donor which the peer has matched.
Olivia was fatally shot in the chest in her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, on Monday August 22. Her mum, Cheryl Korbel, 46, was injured as the gunman chased convicted burglar Joseph Nee into their property at about 10pm.
He fired around the door, as Cheryl desperately tried to stop him from entering, and it is thought this gunshot killed Olivia, who was hiding behind her mum.
The gunman continued to fire at Nee - showing no regard for little Olivia - before fleeing the scene. And as Olivia lay dying, the burglar was picked up by friends in a black Audi Q3 and taken to hospital.
Record £200,000 reward
Announcing Crimestoppers’s biggest single reward offer, Lord Ashcroft said: “This case has been incredibly shocking, not just for those who are directly affected but also for Liverpool and the nation as a whole.
“I am delighted that with the support of a private donor, Crimestoppers can now offer a record £200,000 for information to catch Olivia’s killer.
“A precious young life has been lost so we need every effort to find those involved in this appalling killing.”
Crimestoppers is independent of the police and takes information about crime completely anonymously.
The charity’s chief executive, Mark Hallas, said: “If you’re too scared to speak to the police, please remember that our charity, Crimestoppers, is here to help you do the right thing.
“Tell Crimestoppers what you know whilst staying completely anonymous. Please understand: Crimestoppers has kept its promise to protect your identity since we started back in the late 1980s
“You can contact us via our website or call our UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111. Details about how to claim this reward are available online (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).
“When you contact Crimestoppers we never ask for or store personal details. All we ask is that you tell us what you know about who killed Olivia so that there can be some slow healing for her mother, her family, the city of Liverpool and everyone who has been touched by this truly awful murder.”
Police hunting guns used in Olivia shooting
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Det Supt Mark Kameen said: “Clearly the gunman doesn’t want us to find these guns because it may link him back to them and thereby Olivia’s murder.
“This man is utterly toxic to our communities. Nobody wants this man around them or where they live. Nobody wants to be associated with him.
“Some people may tolerate him through fear, but even those people, given the choice, would want him locked away. With your support we can make this happen.
“A simple anonymous phone call or online report could remove this man and the guns he has used from our communities. He will never know who has contacted Crimestoppers and neither will we the police. No-one should shoot a child and not face justice – silence is simply not an option for anyone.”
He said the two weapons used were a .38 revolver – the gun responsible for killing Olivia – and a Glock-type self-loading 9mm pistol which was fired in the initial stages of the incident.
The Glock was first used in Wimborne Close, Dovecot, at 8.50pm on 27 January 2020 when a 19-year-old man was injured in “shockingly” similar circumstances to Olivia’s murder, police said.
On that occasion one of the bullets also went through the front door of a house of an innocent member of the community.
The second incident happened on 8 August this year at 9.40pm in Finch Way, Dovecot – close to Olivia’s home – when two rival groups, one in a car and the other on motorcycles, fired shots indiscriminately near some playing fields.
Just two weeks later three shots were fired from the Glock when the gunman targeted burglar Joseph Nee in Kingsheath Avenue, along with two shots from the revolver. Nee then fled into Olivia’s house where the schoolgirl was shot.
Mr Kameen said: “Looking at the locations where this gun has been used … it is very clear to me that the gun is owned and controlled by an individual or group of individuals in this immediate area.
“For the last two years it has exclusively been used in Dovecot. I would suggest that this gun has been stored somewhere in this area and may well still be there right now. I want people to tell us where these guns are now.”
Cheryl Korbel speaks about Olivia’s shooting
Earlier in September, mum Cheryl gave a heartbreaking video interview, encouraging Olivia’s killers to come forward.
She said: “I’m hoping that they come forward so this doesn’t happen to anybody else. You know you’ve done wrong, so you need to own up,.
“Like I taught my kids, you do something wrong, you own up to it. If anyone is hiding these guns they need to speak up because they need to be off the streets. No one, no one at all should have to go through this.”
Wearing a cast on her wrist after being injured during the shooting, Cheryl said the family had been planning days out and a trip to buy Olivia’s new school uniform before she died.
She said: “I didn’t get that chance to go and get her school uniform. But I’ll keep going, for Liv.”
She broke down in tears as she described how her daughter would never stop talking and said: “That’s what I miss the most, because I can’t hear her talk.”
Cheryl added: “She was amazing, she loved life. She was my little shadow, she went everywhere with me. Everyone she met they all fell in love with her, she left a mark on everyone she met.”
Mourners wearing pink paid their respects to Olivia as her funeral took place on Thursday.
Olivia’s father, John Francis Pratt, also paid tribute to his daughter and called for anyone with information on her death to come forward.
In a statement, Mr Pratt and his wider family said: “We don’t want another child to lose their life in such horrendous circumstances and we don’t want to see another family suffer like we are suffering now.
“Olivia’s death cannot be in vain and we want people to feel safe and be safe, that can only happen if we all come together and make sure there is no place for guns, or those who use guns on our streets or in our communities.”