Prosecution witness denies she is ‘scorned woman’ of Olivia murder accused

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A key prosecution witness in the trial of a man accused of murdering a nine-year-old girl has denied lying about the accused for money and because she was a ‘scorned woman’.

The witness, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said she had a “fling” with Thomas Cashman, 34, who is accused of murdering Olivia Pratt-Korbel and injuring her mother, Cheryl Korbel, 46, at their family home in Dovecot, Liverpool.

The witness told a jury at Manchester Crown Court she had now left Liverpool, was still “terrified” of giving evidence against Cashman but had done so because a child had been shot dead.

Thomas Cashman court case
Thomas Cashman denies the charges (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

“Because of this little girl. I just feel like if he was any sort of man, he would just… own it.

“I can’t believe he’s making her family go through this. It’ s child, it’s a child.

“They all should be ashamed of themselves who are supporting him as well.”

Cashman is accused of trying to kill another man, Joseph Nee, chasing him into Olivia’s home and firing his gun.

Cashman denies being the gunman but the witness has implicated the defendant, telling police after the shooting he turned up at her home agitated and changed his clothing.

She also claimed she heard him say he had, “done Joey” the court heard.

But John Cooper KC, defending Cashman, suggested she was lying for money and because the defendant had used her for sex.

Mr Cooper suggested the woman was angry and wanted to “ruin” Cashman’s life because the defendant told he loved his partner and children and she was “just a bit of fun.”

She was initially arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and admitted telling “little white lies” to detectives, she said to protect her family and avoid getting involved in the police investigation.

Flowers are left near to the scene of Olivia Pratt-Korbel's death
Flowers are left near to the scene of Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s death (PA)

“I was woken up that night by a guy doing a dreadful thing and putting my life danger.

“I was petrified to speak about Tommy. I’ve got to come home, he’s going to want to see me, what I have been speaking about.

“I was mortified I have been put in this situation.

“I don’t know what my life will hold in the next few years.”

She said: “My gym is my therapy. To be with friends, to release my energy.”

Mr Cooper continued: “Was having your nails done also part of your therapy?”

The witness said: “Am I being shouted at for getting my nails done?”

Trial Judge Mrs Justice Yip adjourned proceedings briefly as the exchanges became heated as the second day of the witnesses’ cross-examination continued.

Mr Cooper later suggested the witness was lying about the defendant, due to money and debts.

He suggested a person the witness knew owed Cashman £25,000 for cannabis and one way to avoid paying was to get the defendant, “off the scene”.

Olivia Pratt-Korbel death
Cheryl Korbel, mother of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel, arrives at Manchester Crown Court (PA)

Mr Cooper asked the witness if she had ever discussed with police the Crimestoppers reward offered for information in this case, which began at £50,000 and rose to £200,000.

She said: “We already came forward first, so there’s no money we would be entitled to.

“I’ve never been or asked or even interested in the money, when I came forward there was no reward up.

“I could not sleep at night.”

Cashman, of Grenadier Drive, Liverpool, denies the murder of Olivia, 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.

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