Withholding information on Olivia’s murder is protecting killers, police warn

·4-min read

People who might be withholding information about the murder of a nine-year-old girl who was shot dead in her own home have been warned they are protecting killers.

As part of their continuing investigation into Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s killing and other recent murders in Liverpool, Merseyside Police again urged the public to come forward and help.

It is almost a week since Olivia was fatally shot when a gunman chased his intended target, who has been named as convicted burglar Joseph Nee, into her family home in Dovecot, also injuring Olivia’s mother, Cheryl, 46.

In a short but dramatic video appeal on Twitter, Merseyside Police warned that anyone withholding information must give it up.

During the video, a voiceover states: “We’ve got parents who’ve lost their children.

“We’ve got a nine-year-old girl who won’t celebrate her 18th birthday. She won’t celebrate her wedding. She won’t have children of her own.

“If you’ve got information and you’re withholding it, you’re protecting the killers. We need your information. Provide that information to us and we’ll do the rest.”

As well as images of Olivia and flowers at the scene of the shooting, the video also featured images of Ashley Dale and Sam Rimmer.

Council worker Ms Dale was fatally shot in Old Swan, Liverpool, on Sunday August 21.

The 28-year-old, who worked in the environmental health team at Knowsley Council, was found fatally wounded in the back garden of a house. It is believed she was not the intended victim.

Mr Rimmer, 22, was shot in Dingle, Liverpool, on Tuesday August 16.

The family of Olivia Pratt-Korbel have appealed to those with information to come forward (Family Handout/PA)
Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s family have appealed to those with information to come forward (Family handout/PA)

Police said there will be “plenty of officers on patrol” in all three areas that have seen fatal shootings lately.

The force tweeted: “They’re there to help you feel safe & to make sure criminals feel the pressure.”

Two men arrested over Olivia’s death were bailed on Saturday.

A 36-year-old man, from Huyton, was recalled to prison after breaching the terms of his licence.

Both he and a 33-year-old man, from Dovecot, were arrested on suspicion of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Merseyside Police appealed for people to come forward with information “so we can build up a strong evidential picture and bring those responsible to justice”.

The force has previously released an image of a black Audi Q3, which has been seized and which they believe is the car used to take 35-year-old Nee to hospital.

They are still appealing to anyone who saw the vehicle in the days leading up to the shooting, or has any information about its movements after leaving Kingsheath Avenue last Monday night, to come forward.

In other social media appeals, police have insisted “silence is not an option”.

Warning that there is “no hiding place for anyone involved in the murder of little Olivia”, they added: “We need names.”

Assistant mayor of Liverpool Harry Doyle said people had come forward in the days since the murder because they “want to see justice” for the little girl and her loved ones, and that the arrests had brought “a sense of hope and relief”.

Olivia’s family have urged people to “do the right thing”, saying that speaking up “is not about being a ‘snitch’ or a ‘grass’, it is about finding out who took our baby away from us”.

In a touching tribute, Liverpool FC captain Jordan Henderson wore a top reading “RIP Olivia YNWA (You’ll Never Walk Alone)” for the team’s victory against Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday.

In their overall crackdown on organised crime, police said they had made almost 200 arrests and seized vehicles, drugs and weapons in the past week.

The force tweeted: “We have arrested 170 people & seized several vehicles, suspected Class A and B drugs, and firearms over the past week in an operation targeting serious and organised crime across Merseyside.”