Olivia Pratt-Korbel murder trial witness attacked at home and slashed in the head by masked men

8 August 2023, 16:06 | Updated: 8 August 2023, 16:25

A witness for Cashman's defence has been attacked
A witness for Cashman's defence has been attacked. Picture: CPS/Google Maps

By Will Taylor

A witness in the Olivia Pratt-Korbel murder trial has been slashed at his home in Liverpool.

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Nicholas McHale, who gave evidence in support of the nine-year-old girl's killer, was injured after masked men forced his door open and struck him in the head several times on Monday night.

He received cuts to the back of his head and was taken to hospital but has since been discharged.

Police remain in Snowberry Road, as forensics officers investigate the crime scene.

Read more: Olivia Pratt-Korbel's killer Thomas Cashman loses appeal to reduce murder sentence

McHale, who previously leased his home to Cashman briefly, said he spoke to the murderer at the time he was accused of killing Olivia.

He told the trial that he knew Cashman was innocent but was branded a "liar" by the prosecution.

Olivia was shot and killed in Liverpool
Olivia was shot and killed in Liverpool. Picture: Handout

Merseyside Police's Detective Inspector Michael Fletcher said: "This was a terrifying and violent attack on a man who has suffered significant cuts and wounds to his head.

"The investigation is in its very early stages and I would like to reassure residents that our officers remain at the scene to investigate the attack.

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

"At this point we believe that the offender was armed with a sharp object and we are determined to find this and whoever was responsible for this frightening assault.

"The incident happened late last night when people would have been inside their homes therefore I would urge residents to think about what they may have seen, or heard, as it could be vital.

Thomas Cashman was jailed for Olivia's murder
Thomas Cashman was jailed for Olivia's murder. Picture: CPS
McHale was assaulted at his home in Snowberry Road
McHale was assaulted at his home in Snowberry Road. Picture: Google Maps

"Similarly, if you have any doorbell footage that could have captured the incident please check your systems and contact police if you have any evidence.

"Information from our community is vital if we are to stop people carrying any dangerous weapons in Merseyside that causes such violence and fear on our streets."

Cashman, who killed Olivia when he fired into her family's home in Liverpool, was given life in prison with a minimum of 42 years behind bars after being convicted of her murder.

The 34-year-old had planned to kill an unrelated man, Joseph Nee, in August, but when his gun malfunctioned he pursued his target into Olivia's house.

He opened fire, missing Nee but killing the girl and injuring her mother Cheryl.

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