Olivia Pratt-Korbel: Brother recalls fight to save sisteron March 10, 2023 at 3:40 pm

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Ryan Korbel tells how his mother put nine-year-old Olivia in his arms but he “knew it was over”.

Olivia Pratt-KorbelImage source, Police handout

The brother of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel has told of the desperate fight to save his sister after she was shot in their home.

Ryan Korbel recalled how his mother put “Liv in my arms” but he “knew it was over” in a video interview played to the jury at Manchester Crown Court.

Thomas Cashman, 34, is accused of fatally shooting Olivia and injuring her mother, Cheryl Korbel, 46, at their house in Liverpool on 22 August.

Mr Cashman denies being the gunman.

The court heard shots were fired by a man who had chased Joseph Nee, who is said to be the intended target of the attack, into the house.

Mr Korbel said he had been in his room when he heard three loud bangs and Olivia running downstairs screaming ‘Mum, I’m scared’.

Mr Korbel said he went to the landing and saw Olivia four or five steps up from the bottom of the staircase, a man lying on the floor and his mother “wrestling” with the door.

He said his mother and Mr Nee then managed to shut the door but it “burst back open”.

“An arm’s come round the door with a black handgun and another shot’s gone off, it could be two, I can’t remember,” he said.

“Olivia was in hysterics, my mum was in hysterics, my 18-year-old sister was in hysterics, we all were.”

Court artist sketch of Thomas Cashman

Image source, Elizabeth Cook/PA Media

He told officers that Mr Nee was sitting on the doorstep and then went outside, where he followed and was “screaming abuse”.

“I didn’t know my sister had been hit at this point,” he said.

Mr Korbel told police: “My mum put Liv in my arms and told me to keep pressure on her chest.

“I didn’t know why until I lifted her pyjama top up and seen a hole.”

He said a neighbour came in and gave CPR to Olivia, adding “I knew it was over.”

Cheryl Korbel (centre) mother of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel, arrives with family members at Manchester Crown Court for the trial of Thomas Cashman, who is charged with murdering her daughter

Image source, PA Media

Two of Ms Korbel’s neighbours had been in her lounge for tea before the attack.

Hayley Freeman said she heard loud bangs outside and said Ms Korbel went to the front door to find out what was going on, when Mr Nee, pursued by the gunman, tried to get into the house.

She said Ms Korbel tried to slam the door and block his way.

‘Stay with me’

In a statement, Ms Freeman said: “I remember Cheryl screaming and the sound of a struggle.

“We both got up and ran into the back kitchen. We shut the door and called 999.

“I heard another bang and saw a flash. I then heard Cheryl screaming, I remember her saying Liv’s name and that Liv had been shot.”

Ms Freeman’s partner, Rob Lamb, who was next door, ran over and took a phone from her as she was calling the emergency services.

He said: “Then I was told the baby, Olivia, had been shot then saw Cheryl over her saying, ‘Stay with me baby’.

“I believe she was still breathing at this point. I think she then stopped breathing and the operator took me through starting CPR.”

PC Daniel Cooper, part of the armed response unit from Merseyside Police, was the first officer on the scene.

Olivia Pratt-Korbel

Image source, Family handout

In his statement, he said: “As I looked at the stairs, I could see a female with an obvious injury to her hand sat crying and shouting hysterically.”

He said he then noticed Olivia.

“An adult male was carrying out CPR with his phone beside him on speaker phone.

“I could see a small bullet entry wound to her chest area, just above her stomach.”

“I decided Olivia needed urgent medical attention. I picked her up in my arms and carried her down the stairs.

PC Cooper said he remembered her body being “limp”.

He told a colleague that “we needed to go straight to hospital as Olivia had a gunshot wound to the chest”.

In a recorded interview played in court, a woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said Mr Cashman turned up at her home and woke her up after the shooting.

She said she had been unaware of the attack at the time.

The witness recalled Mr Cashman had told her that he “went to drop the bits off before he came to my house”.

A young girl pays tribute in Kingsheath Avenue, Liverpool

Image source, PA Media

Asked what she thought he meant by “bits”, she said: “I honestly believe it was the guns… I know he wouldn’t have come to my house with them.”

She described him as “very nervous”, adding: “I’ve never seen him like that.

“That’s why I felt like there was something wrong.”

She said: “He was stuttering. Something like someone’s come for him and he had, like, a source that had told him they were sitting him off.

“He wanted to do whatever he wanted to do before they got to him.”

She told police she heard him say the name “Joey Nee” and later heard him say “I’ve done Joey”.

He also asked for a change of clothes and told her “I don’t know where else to go but I trust you.”

‘All gone wrong’

She also recalled him saying “it’s all gone wrong” and added: “It was like gibberish coming out of his mouth.”

She went on to explain how the next day the shooting was all over Instagram and that she “put two and two together” and was “screaming in a bad way”.

Asked why she came forward to the police, she said it was because she wanted Olivia’s mother to have answers.

“It’s her little girl at the end of the day. It could have been anyone that night, it could have been anyone’s house.”

Mr Cashman, of Grenadier Drive, West Derby, Liverpool, denies the murder of Olivia, the attempted murder of Mr Nee, wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm to Olivia’s mother, and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

The trial continues.

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