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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Maanya Sachdeva

Man attacked at home of Olivia Pratt-Korbel murder trial witness

PA Media

A person has been attacked at the home of a witness in the murder trial of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, the nine-year-old who was killed in Liverpool last August.

According to news reports, an attacker forced his way into the home of Nicholas McHale on Snowberry Road in Dovecot, Liverpool on Monday night.

In a statement, Merseyside Police confirmed a man had been attacked at an address on Snowberry Road by a masked man who “struck him several times before leaving the house”.

The man was taken to hospital with “significant cuts and wounds to his head” and has since been discharged, police added, but didn’t confirm the identity of the victim.

They added the perpetrator was “armed with a sharp object” and that the investigation is still in “very early stages”.

Olivia was fatally shot by Thomas Cashman during a struggle at her home on Kingsheath Avenue, in Dovecot, on 22 August 2022.

During her murder trial, McHale appeared as a witness for the defence and told jurors Cashman had an alibi for the night Korbel was killed.

The 32-year-old said he’d seen Cashman smoking weed in the garden of a nearby property when he went outside his house that night.

McHale also claimed he spoke to Cashman about a football match that night, before returning inside his home.

“I believe and know Thomas Cashman is innocent,” McHale reportedly said.

After the 18-day trial, Cashman was found guilty of the murder of Olivia, attempted murder of his intended target Joseph Nee, a convicted drug dealer, and wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm to Olivia’s mother Cheryl Korbel.

Cashman was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 42 years,

Detective Inspector Michael Fletcher of Merseyside Police said “we are determined whoever was responsible for this frightening assault” on Monday night.

“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,” he added.

The officer also asked anyone with doorbell footage that may have captured the attack to contact the police.

Thomas Cashman, 34, who was jailed for a minimum of 42 years for the murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel (Merseyside Police/PA)
— (PA Media)

During Cashman’s trial, the jury heard how he chased Nee into Ms Korbel’s home on that fateful night of Olivia’s murder.

Upon hearing gunshots outside the home, Olivia ran downstairs, saying “I’m scared mummy”.

The jurors were told how Cashman fired one bullet through the front door, which hit Ms Corbel’s hand before fatally striking Olivia in the chest at around 9pm.

She was pronounced dead two hours later.

Following her death, Olivia’s family remembered her as a “unique, chatty, nosey little girl who broke the mould when she was born”.

They said: “Although her life was short, her personality certainly wasn’t and she lived it to the most she could, and would blow people away with her wit and kindness.”

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