THE man accused of killing nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel “ruthlessly and relentlessly pursued” his intended target in the hours before the shooting, a court heard.
Thomas Cashman, who is charged with murdering the schoolgirl in Dovecot, Liverpool, allegedly passed Joseph Nee’s property 12 times in the run up to the attack.
Thomas Cashman is charged with Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s murderPAThe nine-year-old was fatally shot at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool[/caption]
Story Picture AgencyArmed police outside Manchester Crown Court[/caption]
He then lay in wait before running up behind Nee and opening fire on August 22 last year, jurors were told.
As he attempted to barge into the Korbel family home, a bullet hit Olivia’s mother in the hand and fatally wounded her daughter in the chest.
Cashman, of West Derby, Liverpool, denies the murder of Olivia, the attempted murder of Nee and the wounding with intent of Cheryl.
He also denies two counts of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
On the third day of his trial at Manchester Crown Court, jurors were taken through Cashman’s movements before the “pre-planned” shooting.
They heard how the 34-year-old had driven past or had sight of a house where Nee was located on 12 separate occasions that day.
CCTV of Cashman driving a white Citroen Berlingo van away from his home just after 3pm was played to the court.
It showed him travelling past Finch Lane in Dovecot – close to Olivia’s home on Kingsheath Avenue – where a Volkswagen Transporter van, belonging to Nee, was parked.
Footage then showed Cashman driving to his sister’s home in Mab Lane where he stayed for about six minutes before returning to his car and driving past Finch Lane again, where Nee’s van was still parked outside the property of his friend Timothy Naylor.
Cashman returned to his sister’s, but the court heard just after 3.30pm Nee left Mr Naylor’s house and drove away.
The jury was shown CCTV of Cashman leaving his sister’s house on foot at 3.36pm.
Footage from just before 4pm showed Cashman, dressed in black with his face covered, walking a few steps onto Finch Lane, before returning from the direction he came.
The court was shown CCTV of Nee in a Screwfix store in Aintree at 4.13pm.
Prosecutors allege that, after seeing Nee’s van at the address on two occasions, Cashman had been returning on foot to shoot him but did an “about turn” after seeing the road, where Nee’s van was no longer parked.
Opening the case on Tuesday, David McLachlan KC, prosecuting, said that by early evening, Nee was inside the house in Finch Lane watching Liverpool play Manchester United.
Mr McLachlan said: “It was now ‘game on’,” and that Cashman had “done his checks and due diligence” and knew his “target was where he wanted him to be”.
‘LYING IN WAIT’
Cashman then drove to Aspes Lane and parked up at 8.59pm before walking along Finch Lane, it is said.
He was then allegedly “lying in wait”, with two loaded firearms.
Just before 10pm, footage shows a gunman, said to be Cashman, chases Nee down Kingsheath Avenue and fires two shots.
As he goes to shoot a third time, Nee runs off in the direction of the Korbel home and forces his way inside.
Further bullets fire, including the one which hit and killed Olivia.
Jurors heard how the youngster screamed, “Mum I’m scared” moments before being shot.
Olivia had been frightened out of bed and ran to her mother after hearing a commotion outside.
The mum opened the front door to find out what was going on when Nee, bleeding and injured, saw the light from her doorway and ran towards the house, trying to barge in to escape Cashman.
‘IN A PANIC’
Cheryl, “in a panic” and yelling at Nee banging on the door, tried to shut it on him, as Cashman pursued his target and fired again with a revolver.
The bullet missed Nee, went through the front door, through Cheryl’s right hand and hit Olivia in the centre of her chest.
Mum Cheryl begged her stricken daughter, who “went all floppy”, to “stay with me, baby” as Nee slumped on the hallway floor.
A neighbour told police she was in bed when she heard two bangs outside, then two “muffled bangs” followed by “the worst screaming I’ve ever heard in my life”.
She then heard Olivia’s sister Chloe on the phone saying: “Where are they, where are they? She is dying.”
Armed police arrived at 10.11pm and Olivia was rushed to hospital where she sadly died about an hour later.
Nee had stumbled out of the house, collapsed in the middle of the road and used his mobile phone.
He was picked up by five men in a black car before police arrived.
The trial, which is expected to last four weeks, continues.
SplashA police van arrives at Manchester Crown Court ahead of the trial on March 7[/caption]
PAOlivia’s mum Cheryl (centre) with other family members arriving at court on March 6[/caption]