Olivia Pratt-Korbel: Thomas Cashman charged with murder of Liverpool schoolgirl

The 34-year-old from West Derby will appear in court on Monday.

Thomas Cashman has been charged with the murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel, who was killed at her home in Dovecot nearly six weeks ago.

The 34-year-old from Grenadier Drive, West Derby, was arrested by Merseyside Police on Thursday and questioned by detectives.

Photo issued by Merseyside Police of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel who was fatally shot at her home in Kingsheath Avenue, Knotty Ash, Liverpool. Picture: Family Handout/PA Wire

Olivia was fatally shot in the chest when a gunman chased another man into her house on Kingsheath Avenue, on August 22.

Her mother, Cheryl Korbel, was shot in the arm as she struggled to close the door on the intruders.

The gunman’s intended target - convicted burglar Joseph Nee - was also shot after bursting into their home as he fled the shooter.

Ms Korbel, 46, had opened the door to investigate a disturbance in the street.

Cashman has been charged with the murder of Olivia; two counts of attempted murder and two counts of possession of a firearms with intent to endanger life.

A second man, Paul Russell, 40 years, from Snowberry Road, West Derby, has been charged with assisting an offender.

Both men will appear at Liverpool Magistrates Court on Monday, October 3.

There have been 11 arrests over Olivia’s death so far, with nine men previously detained as part of the wide-scale investigation, all of whom were later bailed.

The Crimestoppers reward for information to catch the alleged killer was also increased to a record £200,000 - the charity’s biggest ever single offer.

DCS Mark Kameen and Chief Constable Serena Kennedy from Merseyside Police speak to the media at force headquarters in Rose Hill

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen, said: “Our work continues in earnest. At the beginning of the investigation we were firm in our commitment to finding all of those involved in this case, which includes the people who have tried to shield and protect individuals, and those who have supplied the weapon or are hiding the weapons used in this incident.

“We have had an overwhelming response and support from the public since the tragic murder of Olivia and I would ask for your continued support so we can keep the promise we made to Olivia’s family and the local community to ensure that those involved face justice.”

Hundreds line the street for funeral of Olivia

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Knotty Ash for Olivia’s funeral on September 15.

The coffin of Olivia Pratt-Korbel is carried into at St Margaret Mary's Church in Liverpool. Picture: Richard Martin-Roberts/Getty Images

Her funeral service was held at St Margaret Mary’s Church where mourners were asked to wear pink, in honour of the nine year old’s favourite colour.

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, offered her ‘prayers, love and support’ to the family and described the nine-year-old’s murder as a ‘crime beyond belief’.

She said: “A life of innocence, devastatingly taken in the place where she was safest - home. Today we offer our prayers, love and support to Olivia’s family as they lay her to rest. Let us hope justice is swift and true.”