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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Stephen White

Olivia Pratt-Korbel's classmates pay poignant tribute to the murdered schoolgirl

Classmates of Olivia Pratt-Korbel dressed in her favourite colour pink on Tuesday to mark what would have been her 10th birthday.

The nine-year-old was fatally shot during a struggle when a gunman burst into her home in Liverpool in August.

Head teacher Rebecca Wilkinson, of St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School in Huyton, said Olivia was “remembered in school every day”.

“There’s not a day goes by whereby somebody doesn’t mention Olivia,”she added.

Olivia was shot dead after a gunman opened fire near her family home in Dovecot.

Head teacher Rebecca Wilkinson said it had been an “incredibly difficult time”.

Olivia would have turned 10 on Tuesday (Liverpool Echo)
Schoolgirl's classmates paid a colourful tribute to her (PA)

“It has been a huge shock to the community,” said Mrs Wilkinson.

“At this time it is particularly poignant because we have her birthday.”

Pupils have been encouraged to wear pink while a number of schools in the area came together for a community spirit festival to remember Olivia.

“Her friends]felt it was important to celebrate her birthday,” said Mrs Wilkinson.

“And that’s not decrying what has happened, but they did feel that Olivia would have wanted to do that.”

Pupils, in particular Olivia’s classmates, have been involved in creating a permanent memorial at the school in collaboration with the schoolgirl’s mother Cheryl Korbel.

Olivia's mother Cheryl (Julian Hamilton/Sunday Mirror)

“It’s lovely to keep that bond,” said Mrs Wilkinson.

“I think it’s nice for her as well as for us as well because she has a special little girl and we don’t want to forget her.

“We want her memory to continue.”

Following Olivia’s death, Cheryl gifted each of her daughter’s classmates a teddy bear which had been left outside her home by mourners following the shooting.

Each bear has a pink ribbon which reads “forever nine” along with a photograph of Olivia.

A performance garden has been created within the grounds of the school, as well as a mural by Manchester artist Akse.

Thomas Cashman is serving life for murder (Liverpool Echo)

The mural includes a quote from Matilda which is the school’s choice for an end of year concert.

“I don’t think we could have picked anything better because she did love to perform,” said Mrs Wilkinson.

“I think it is a great tribute to Olivia.

Vincent, who was in Olivia’s class, said: “We know Olivia loved performing on stage and being bright and having all the ideas.”

Thomas Cashman had been lying in wait with two guns to attack convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee.

Fleeing the gunfire, Nee had run towards the open door of Olivia’s home after her mother went out to see what the noise was.

Cashman continued shooting and a bullet went through the door and Ms Korbel’s hand, before fatally hitting Olivia in the chest.

* The Mirror is backing Olivia’s family’s plans to build a £300,000 memorial garden and haven against crime in her memory in Dovecot. How you can help: You can send a cheque payable to Kingsheath and District Veterans Association to Daily Mirror, PO Box 4010. For a direct bank transfer, it’s sort code 53-70-21, account no 75230771. To go to the fundraising page, visit

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