Olivia Pratt-Korbel's killer 'has £250k bounty on head' as gangsters fear murderer will 'grass' to get lighter sentence

3 April 2023, 07:46

Thomas Cashman murdered Olivia Pratt-Korbel
Thomas Cashman murdered Olivia Pratt-Korbel. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Gangsters have put a £250,000 bounty on the head of Thomas Cashman amid fears he will "grass" to get a lighter sentence after murdering nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel.

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Cashman was found guilty of Olivia's murder on Thursday after he had pursued a burglar into her family's home and shot at him, but killed the little girl and wounded her mother.

The killer, who has reportedly been linked to three other murders, is facing life behind bars when he is sentenced on Monday.

Gangsters have placed a bounty of a quarter of a million pounds in a bid to "silence" him, a source told the Sun.

The order has already been circulated and some prisons, and there are several people "will not think twice about carrying it out". The bounty was sent round on the encrypted messaging app Telegram.

Thomas Cashman denied Olivia's murder
Thomas Cashman denied Olivia's murder. Picture: Alamy

The people who have sent out the message are reportedly concerned that Cashman will tell police about gangland killing and unsolved murders to get better treatment in prison.

This testimony would cause a "world of pain" for organised crime leaders who "do not want their activities being looked at."

"He has nothing to lose — he is cornered," the source told The Sun. "There's lifers who will be mixing with him in months and years to come who will not think twice about carrying it out."

Cashman "knows everything there is to know about organised crime, drugs and violence."

Cashman, of Grenadier Drive in Liverpool, admitted he had been a high-level cannabis dealer but denied the killing, insisting he was not involved and a key prosecution witness had instead framed him.

Cheryl Korbel, mother of Olivia Pratt-Korbel
Cheryl Korbel, mother of Olivia Pratt-Korbel. Picture: Alamy

But a jury convicted him of murdering Olivia in August last year, whose death shocked the city and the country.

Cashman wiped away tears after the verdicts were read out, while Kayleeanne Sweeney, his partner, held her head in her hand as some of his family broke down in tears.

He was found guilty of murder, attempted murder, wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and two charges of possession of firearms.

Read more: Man accused of killing Olivia Pratt-Korbel is 'one of the most hated people in the country' but not guilty, jury told

Olivia's family gasped and wiped away tears as the verdicts came back. Olivia's mother Cheryl Korbel held a pink cardigan and a teddy bear as she sat with children Chloe and Ryan in court.

Olivia Pratt-Korbel was murdered in August last year
Olivia Pratt-Korbel was murdered in August last year. Picture: Family handout

Relatives of Cashman's left the court shouting, swearing and claiming he was innocent.

Manchester Crown Court heard during the trial how Cashman chased Joseph Nee, 36, in the street in the Dovecot area of Liverpool before 10pm on August 22.

Nee was hit in the midriff but managed to escape because a gun malfunctioned.

He fled into Olivia's home and Cashman opened fire, killing Olivia and injuring her mother Cheryl.

Olivia had come downstairs when Nee forced his way in, and said: "Mummy, I'm scared."

Moment Cashman flees scene after shooting Olivia Pratt-Korbel

Cashman fired into the home. One bullet hit Ms Korbel in the hand, then Olivia was struck in the chest. She was later pronounced dead in hospital.

Read more: Man accused of killing Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Liverpool is pulling 'wool over jury's eyes', prosecutors say

A woman, a key witness for the prosecution, said Cashman had heard him say he had "done Joey" after the shooting. Cashman had gone to her home to ask for a change of clothes.

Moment Olivia's killer Thomas Cashman is arrested

But he and his defence argued she was lying.

John Cooper KC had told the court Nee's family had enemies, and the woman - who cannot be named for legal reasons - was lying because they had a "sordid" affair, and Cashman was not going to leave his fiancee for her.

The killing of Nee was reportedly organised over a drug debt.

Despite finding out he had killed Olivia, he demanded £50,000 – half the fee he would have been paid for killing Nee - because he wounded his target.

The source said: "Cashman has no heart. He claimed in court to be a cannabis dealer but everyone knows he was a hitman who thought nothing of putting a bullet in someone."