Woman denies lying to police about man accused of Olivia’s murder, court told

A woman denied lying to police about a gunman accused of shooting a nine-year-old girl dead, a jury has heard.

Thomas Cashman, 34, is accused of murdering Olivia Pratt-Korbel, and injuring her mother, Cheryl Korbel, 46, at their home in Dovecot, Liverpool.

Cashman is accused of chasing another man, Joseph Nee, into Olivia’s home and firing his gun, missing Nee and hitting the mother and daughter, fatally injuring Olivia, on August 22 last year.

A woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sat in the witness box, shielded from public view by a curtain, and became involved in heated exchanges with John Cooper KC, defending Cashman at the start of the second week of the trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Thomas Cashman court case
Court artist sketch of Thomas Cashman during a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court in February (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

The jury heard last week that the witness had implicated Cashman, telling police after the shooting that he had gone to her home, where he had changed his clothes.

She also claimed she heard him say he had “done Joey”, the court was told.

Mr Cooper suggested to the witness that Cashman had used her for sex and this had made her tell lies to police to “ruin” him.

He said: “Central to your dishonest evidence in this court is you with Thomas Cashman.

“Made you want to ruin him?”

She replied, “No. Ruin him… you find out what you find out.

“I have had to do what I have had to do for a little girl here. I have had to go through a lot of pain, to think about what Tommy done.”

Mr Cooper continued: “About the time of this tragic killing, you were angry, resentful and vindictive.”

“I was not,” she replied.

“I certainly didn’t want a relationship with a thug with a little willy.”

Thomas Cashman court case
Olivia Pratt-Korbel was fatally shot by a gunman who chased another man into her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, in August 2022 (Family handout/Merseyside Police/PA)

She added: “I have not been asked one question about a nine-year-old girl who lost her life. That little girl can’t go home, so I’m passionate about that.

“Let’s get to the good bits. Why not ask about the shooting?”

Mr Cooper replied: “Good bits? Because we say you are a liar.”

The witness said she had not initially told police about having a “fling” with Cashman because she was “petrified”.

She said: “I have not got family. I was petrified. Absolutely petrified.

“Thomas Cashman has done what he’s done and he can’t own it, love.”

At one point during the exchanges, trial judge Mrs Justice Yip asked the witness to look at her, to take a moment and to calm down.

Cashman, of Grenadier Drive, Liverpool, denies the murder of Olivia, the attempted murder of Nee, wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm to Ms Korbel, and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

The trial continues.