Man on trial for murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel calls witness ‘a woman scorned’
The man accused of murdering nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel has told a court he was in custody “for something I have not done” and called a key witness “a woman scorned”.
Thomas Cashman, 34, insisted he had “nothing whatsoever” to do with Olivia’s murder and that it was a “blatant lie” to claim he was the killer.
Cashman is accused of fatally shooting the girl when he allegedly chased a convicted drug dealer, Joseph Nee, into her family home and opened fire in Dovecot, Liverpool, last August.
The jury was on Thursday shown images of Cashman being driven around the area in the hours before the shooting, in what the crown says is evidence of him “scoping out” the attack.
The defendant, who has admitted being a “high-level” cannabis dealer, said he was just “driving round, seeing people, collecting money”.
Giving evidence for a third day at Manchester crown court, Cashman said: “I was dealing drugs. I hold my hands up. I’m a drug dealer. I’m not a bad drug dealer who sells class A drugs. I don’t do anything bad. I always grew up smoking cannabis. Some people may look at that as a very bad thing. I don’t look at it as I am a bad person for doing that.”
Cashman denied that he was “getting in the murder frame of mind” when he went home for only eight minutes at 8.22pm, before the fatal shooting at about 10pm on 22 August last year.
The prosecutor, David McLachlan KC, played footage of a man running after another to the sound of screams and three gunshots and asked Cashman: “That’s you, isn’t it?”
The defendant replied: “No, it’s not me … No, I did not kill a little girl.”
McLachlan asked about the evidence of a woman who alleges that Cashman visited her home immediately after the shooting and that she heard him say he had “done Joey” – a reference to Nee.
Cashman denied going to the woman’s house on the night of the shooting, calling her evidence “a total lie, a blatant lie”.
Asked whether the alleged hit on Nee had gone “horribly wrong,” he said: “No, nothing went all horribly wrong”.
He called his accuser, a key prosecution witness who cannot be named, a “woman scorned” and added: “This goes to show the lengths that a woman who’s got something in for someone would go to. This is how low they go to.”
Cashman gave a detailed explanation about how he would have been captured on CCTV if he had gone to the woman’s house, as alleged.
McLachlan said the defendant seemed to “know a lot about CCTV”, to which Cashman replied: “I’ve been looking at CCTV. I’m in prison for something I have not done.”
The prosecutor suggested Cashman had tried to twist events to fit a narrative for his whereabouts on the day of the murder, to which the defendant responded: “No, I have not. That’s what you have done throughout this thing. You haven’t shown no proof. All you’ve done is shown theories.”
Cashman, from Liverpool, said he first heard about Olivia’s shooting on the news the following morning. Asked if he felt bad when he heard about it, he said: “Course I did, yeah. I’ve got children myself.
“In that same week a lad got killed in Liverpool called Sam Rimmer, then a couple of days after that a girl got killed, Ashley Dale, then a couple of days later a little girl, Olivia Pratt-Korbel, got killed as well.”
McLachlan said it was a “bad week for Liverpool, wasn’t it?”. Cashman replied: “That week it was, yeah.”
The trial continues.