Man accused of murdering Olivia Pratt-Korbel tells court he was 'high level cannabis dealer'

21 March 2023, 17:48

Cashman denies murdering Olivia and wounding her mother
Cashman denies murdering Olivia and wounding her mother. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

The man accused of murdering nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel has told a court he was a "high-level cannabis dealer".

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Thomas Cashman, 34, who is accused of killing the girl and injuring her mother Cheryl Korbel, 46, after chasing a convicted drug dealer into their Liverpool home in August last year.

He gave evidence to the trial on Tuesday, wearing a blue jumper over a white shirt.

He told jurors he would make between £3,000 and £5,000 a week selling the drug, and spend it on holidays, cars and bikes.

By the age of 14 he was out of school and at about 16 he was working at a fair in Wales and smoking cannabis every day, then he started smelling it on a small scale by 18.

Read more: Olivia Pratt-Korbel 'picked up in blood-stained pyjamas' by police officer after nine-year-old gunned down at home

However, by 2021, he was selling at a "high level", and he had moved to a home in Grenadier Drive.

"I only ever sold it in my area where I've been brought up, so everyone I sold it to was everyone I knew,” he said. He told the court his catchment area was the Finch Lane area of Dovecot in Liverpool.

John Cooper KC, defending, said: "You became a cannabis dealer, didn't you?"

Cashman replied: "Yes, I was a cannabis dealer."

Prosecutors say Cashman killed Olivia
Prosecutors say Cashman killed Olivia. Picture: Alamy

Mr Cooper asked: "Were you a high-level cannabis dealer?"

Cashman replied: "Yes."

Cashman said he has two children with his "childhood sweetheart" Kaylee Sweeney.

His drugs would get dropped off at his sister's house, he said.

Read more: 'I knew she had gone': Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s mum sobs as she reveals moment daughter shot dead at home

"My sister's boyfriend is an ex-police officer. He didn't like it and he got on my sister over it and they were having arguments between each other about me always being there," Cashman told the court.

His sister had told him to stop having people round to the house because of the arguments on the day of the shooting, he said.

He told the court he knew Joseph Nee, the alleged target of the shooting, and never had problems with him or his brothers.

He said he was at their family's home to look at one of their new Audis the day before Olivia was shot.

Cashman denies murder
Cashman denies murder. Picture: Alamy
Olivia's mother was wounded in the shooting
Olivia's mother was wounded in the shooting. Picture: Alamy

Asked if this was actually a mission for "scoping things out", he insisted that was "untrue".

Cashman also denied "confessing" the crime to a woman he had a "fling" with. She claims he came to her after the shooting to change clothing and overheard him say he had "done Joey".

Cashman claimed he dealt drugs to her boyfriend, who owed him £25,000, and she threatened to hell her partner about the affair because he did not want to go to Marbella to start a new life with her.

Cashman denies murdering Olivia and the attempted murder of 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.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Donald Trump spoke at a rally for the first time since he was shot in the ear

Donald Trump says he ‘took a bullet for democracy’ at first rally since assassination attempt

A burnt out car in the Leeds suburb of Harehills, after vehicles were set on fire and a police car was overturned as residents were warned to stay home following an outbreak of disorder on Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday July 19, 2024.

Man charged with arson after bus set on fire in Leeds riots over children allegedly removed from local family

Craig Revel Horwood has said the recent allegations have come as a 'shock' to him

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood breaks silence after 'shock' of dancing show's abuse allegations

A series of Israeli strikes have been launched against the Houthi-controlled port city of Hodeidah in Yemen

Israel launches series of air strikes on Houthi-controlled city in Yemen day after group claim deadly attack on Tel Aviv

Jay Slater and his mum, Debbie Duncan

Jay Slater's GoFundMe page hits £70k after teen's mum appeals for funeral donations

Holidaymakers have been left stranded during global IT outage

'We're not being given any information': Furious holidaymaker stranded in Rhodes tells of travel hell after IT outage

A burnt out car in the Leeds suburb of Harehills, after vehicles were set on fire and a police car was overturned as residents were warned to stay home following an outbreak of disorder on Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday July 19, 2024.

Further unrest in Leeds as hundreds take to streets to 'demand return of children' allegedly removed from local family

NHS England has warned of "continued disruption" to GP services into next week.

NHS warns of GP disruption after global IT outage as trains, planes and roads remain in chaos leaving Brits stranded

Planes, trains and roads have been hit by travel chaos following Friday's IT outage.

Holiday hell: Trains, planes and roads in chaos after global IT outage - with thousands of Brits stranded abroad

Graham Gomm

Prisoner who escaped custody at HMP Wormwood Scrubs during hospital trip is arrested following manhunt

Charles and Camilla attend the King's Parade outside Pomme d'Or Hotel, Liberation Square in St Helier, Jersey

Charles and Camilla 'rushed to safety by security' after suspect 'spotted on roof' just days after Trump rally shooting

A highway bridge collapsed in northwest China.

At least 12 people dead and more than 30 missing after China bridge collapses due to flooding

Ray Reardon has died

Snooker legend Ray Reardon dies aged 91 after cancer battle

Steve Baker and Tom Tugendhat

Top Tory reveals why he is backing Tom Tugendhat to 'put the party back together' as leader

The National Lottery site and app is down

National Lottery down as users unable to access site and app day after global IT outage

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Travel misery continues as global IT outage 'could take weeks to clear' - with over 5,000 flights cancelled worldwide