Olivia Pratt-Korbel's killer Thomas Cashman loses appeal against 42 years’ jail sentence


The gunman who murdered nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel has failed in his bid to have his jail term cut.

Drug dealer Thomas Cashman, 34, was too cowardly to face her family at his sentencing in April when he got life with a minimum of 42 years.

Under 20 days later, he submitted an application to have his sentence reduced – but the Court of Appeal has confirmed a High Court judge refused it earlier this month.

Olivia’s mum Cheryl Korbel said: “That news meant everything to us as a family, it was huge.”

Olivia died when Cashman targeted fellow criminal Joseph Nee, 36, in Dovecot, Liverpool, wielding two guns as he chased him through the streets.

Desperate Nee ran into Olivia’s home as Cashman continued firing –hitting Cheryl in the wrist and Olivia in the chest.

After putting the family through a harrowing four-week trial, he remained in his cell for his sentencing.

Cheryl, 48, said: “We knew when he didn’t show up in court he was going to appeal it. I laughed when I heard he had appealed his sentence, I thought it was a joke – we went right through court and then he never turned up for his sentence.

“He pleaded it wasn’t him but then put an appeal in over his sentence but not his conviction. To me, he’s admitting he’s done it by putting an appeal in to say he’s got too long.

“He’s not grasped the severity of what he’s actually done.”

Cheryl is now calling for new legislation to ensure all convicted killers are forced to attend their sentencing and face the families of their victims.

Speaking about the pain of reliving Olivia’s murder in the trial, she said: “It’s a life sentence for us – you never get closure – and then for him to not turn up was a punch in the stomach.

The law needs changing so other families don’t have to go through the same thing, so they get the chance to tell these offenders the pain they have caused. There’s so much that goes into those impact statements.”

A petition to change the law now has more than 10,500 ­signatures. It is backed by the family of Zara Aleena, whose killer also refused to come to court for his sentencing.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is supporting the campaign while Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has refused to commit to changing the law before the next election.

You can sign the petition at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/636546

Adblock test (Why?)