Thomas Cashman: gang enforcer who shot Olivia Pratt-Korbel, 9, to death appeals against life sentence
Thomas Cashman shot schoolgirl Olivia Pratt-Korbel to death in her own home, as he tried to gun down a convicted drug dealer.
and live on Freeview channel 276
Thomas Cashman was given a mandatory life sentence for murder and told he must serve 42 years before becoming eligible for parole when he was jailed for the shooting earlier this month. The 34-year-old fired into little Olivia’s home on 22 August last year, while trying to kill convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee over a gang feud.
Cashman went on the run, and was branded a coward for refusing to attend his sentencing at Manchester Crown Court - after he had been found guilty by a jury. He His girlfriend Kayleeanne Sweeney appeared to rub salt into the wounds of Olivia’s family by wearing a bright pink coat to court, the colour they wore in memory of the nine-year-old.
Lawyers for the father-of-two, a high-level Liverpool drug dealer, are to take his case to the Court of Appeal, to argue his sentence is too harsh and he should serve less time before parole, the court confirmed. A seperate appeal has been sent to the Attorney General’s Office to review Cashman’s sentence as being “unduly lenient”, and to try and increase it beyond 42 years minimum.
A spokesman from the Attorney General’s Office said: “We have received a request for this sentence to be considered under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme. The Law Officers have 28 days from sentencing to consider the case and make a decision.”
Cashman’s refusal to come into court and face Olivia’s family has prompted calls for a change in the law to force criminals to attend their sentence hearing or face extra years in jail. Cheryl Korbel, Olivia’s mother, joined a chorus of voices, including former Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, calling for a change in the law.
The gang enforcer shot little Olivia dead at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, in August last year. His trial heard how he “lay in wait” with two guns to attack Joseph Nee, 36, a convicted drug dealer.
After shooting Nee, his victim tried to escape, running towards the Korbels’ front door, opened by Cheryl who had gone outside to see what was happening. As she tried to block the door on Nee, frightened Olivia ran from her bed to the stairs, shouting: “Mum, I’m scared!”
Cashman fired again, hitting Cheryl in the wrist as she tried to keep the door shut on Nee. The same bullet hit and killed her daughter, who was hiding behind her.
Jailing him, Mrs Justice Yip said the killer was “not of previous good character”, had made it clear he was a criminal and had “demonstrated no remorse” during his trial. She added: “His failure to come into court is further evidence of that.”