Olivia Pratt-Korbel killer Thomas Cashman will not get tougher jail sentence after complaints it is too lenient

15 May 2023, 13:32

Cashman will not have his sentence extended
Cashman will not have his sentence extended. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

The killer of Olivia Pratt-Korbel will not have his 42-year jail term extended.

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Thomas Cashman, 34, was jailed for life for murdering the nine-year-old girl at her home in Liverpool in August last year.

He had chased a drug dealer, Joseph Nee, into the house and opened fire but hit her mother Cheryl Korbel and then the girl.

The murder outraged the country and there were calls for him to receive a harsher sentence.

But Michael Tomlinson KC, the solicitor general, said it would not be referred to the Court of Appeal.

Read more: Fury as getaway driver who helped Olivia Pratt-Korbel's killer will get new ID after serving 22 month sentence

"Olivia Pratt-Korbel's senseless murder at the hands of Thomas Cashman shocked and sickened the nation," he said.

"Because of the strong feelings this case evokes, it was little surprise that I received several requests under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme to consider the sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 42 years that was handed down to him.

Olivia Pratt-Korbel was killed by Cashman
Olivia Pratt-Korbel was killed by Cashman. Picture: Handout

"My duty as a Law Officer in considering whether sentences may be unduly lenient is to act independently of government, even when it is not easy or popular.

"Having received detailed legal advice and considered the issues raised very carefully, I have concluded Cashman's case cannot properly be referred to the Court of Appeal.

"Such a referral can only be made if the rigorous legal test is met, irrespective of the seriousness of the crime or the emotions the offending may evoke. The threshold for referral is a high one, and that was not met in this case.

Read more: Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s cowardly killer Thomas Cashman appeals to have 42-year murder sentence reduced

"The test is only met if the sentencing judge made a gross error or imposed a sentence outside the range reasonably available in the circumstances of the offending.

"My thoughts remain with Olivia's family and friends who have shown such immeasurable strength during this devastating time."

Members of the public complained about the sentence and hoped for a whole life order, meaning a prisoner can never be released.

Cashman has been jailed for 42 years
Cashman has been jailed for 42 years. Picture: Alamy

Such orders are very rare and reserved for the worst offenders.

Cashman, who said he was not the hitman and claimed a key prosecution witness – who heard him say he'd "done" Nee – was framing him out of spite that he did not run away with her and leave his partner.

A jury at Manchester Crown Court disagreed and convicted him of killing Olivia.

He was jailed in April but was called a coward after he refused to appear in court to receive his sentence. The judge, Mrs Justice Yip, described it as "disrespectful".

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