Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s mother accuses the government of ‘dragging their heels’ on laws which would force killers to appear for their sentencing
- Thomas Cashman, 34, shot Olivia Pratt-Korbel at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool
- READ: Oliva Pratt-Korbel’s killer Thomas Cashman refused to attend sentencing
The mother of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel who was shot dead by Thomas Cashman has accused the Government of ‘dragging their heels’ on laws forcing killers to appear for their sentencing.
Cashman, 34, was meant to kill drug dealer Joseph Nee, 36, but ended up shooting Olivia through her 46-year-old mother Cheryl’s hand on August 22 last year, at their home in Dovecot, Liverpool.
He then refused to appear in court to be given his 42-year jail term in April – after complaining the case was being turned ‘into a circus’ by lawyers.
Olivia’s mother Cheryl, now 48, created a petition calling for a law to make criminals show up at sentence hearings, which has reached more than 30,000 signatures.
Cheryl has now urged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to act after he refused to commit to changing the law before next year’s general election, according to The Mirror.
Olivia Pratt-Korbel, nine, (pictured) was shot in the chest by Thomas Cashman in her home on August 22 last year
Olivia’s mother Cheryl Korbel, 48, (pictured) created a petition calling for a law to make criminals show up at sentence hearings, after her daughter’s killer didn’t turn up for his 42-year jail term in April
Thomas Cashman, 34, (pictured) was meant to kill drug dealer Joseph Nee, 36, but ended up shooting Olivia through her 46-year-old mother Cheryl’s hand on August 22 last year
‘There are laws that have been changed around much less important things – but when it comes to something as important as this they are dragging their heels on it,’ said Cheryl.
‘I feel more determined than ever to carry on and fight for this because my baby hasn’t got a voice.’
Defence barrister John Cooper KC told the court that Cashman would not attend his sentencing because Crown Prosecution Service officials sung ‘We Are The Champions’ following the verdict in his trial.
Mr Cooper said: ‘He has been spoken to and been given certain advice but he is concerned that the matter is turning into a circus.’
But when Cashman refused to show, Cheryl said it felt like a ‘slap in the face’ because he never had to hear the statements they wrote about the devastating loss of their little girl.
Cheryl read a statement outside Manchester Crown Court following the sentencing of Thomas Cashman in Manchester in April
When killer Cashman never showed up for his sentencing, Cheryl said it felt like a ‘slap in the face’ that he never had to hear the statements they wrote about the devastating loss of their little girl
Cashman had tried to carry out his hit job on Nee while he was walking home from a friend’s house, but his gun jammed and Cashman’s target fled, barging into Olivia’s home in a bid to save himself.
Although he claimed in court he was only a cannabis dealer, he was allegedly known as a hitman who ‘thought nothing of putting a bullet in someone’.
Cashman, a father-of-two, insisted that around the time of the shooting he had been at a friend’s house where he counted £10,000 in cash and smoked a spliff.
During his evidence, he told the court: ‘I’m not a killer, I’m a dad.’
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