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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Hollie Bone

Olivia Pratt Korbel's killer Thomas Cashman LOSES appeal to cut murder sentence

Olivia Pratt-Korbel's murderer has lost his appeal to have his life sentence reduced. Thomas Cashman, 34, lodged an appeal against his minimum 42-year jail term, after he was found guilty of killing nine-year-old Olivia.

Speaking to the Mirror, Olivia's mum, Cheryl Korbel, said: "That news meant everything to us as a family, it was huge."

The Court of Appeal confirmed that a High Court judge had refused Cashman's application at the beginning of July. Olivia died when drug-dealer Cashman went out to kill another man, Joseph Nee, 36, in Dovecot, Liverpool, but his plan went horribly wrong.

CCTV showed Nee running for his life into Olivia's home as Cashman fired at him in the street, armed with two guns.

Ruthless Cashman continued to shoot and fired a bullet which hit both Cheryl in the wrist, and Olivia in the chest. After putting the family through a heart-wrenching four-week trial, the cowardly killer refused to even show up for his sentencing and remained in his cell.

Cheryl, 48, revealed: "We knew when he didn't show up in court that he was going to appeal it."

Less than 20 days after that hearing, Cashman submitted an application to the Court of Appeal to have his sentence reduced.

Cheryl continued: “I laughed when I heard he had appealed his sentence, I just thought it was a joke, we went right through court and then he never turned up for his sentence.

“He pleaded that it wasn’t him but then put an appeal in over his sentence but not his conviction. To me he’s admitting that he’s done it by putting an appeal in to say that he’s got too long. He’s not grasped the severity of what he’s actually done.

“He’s sat there for weeks reading all the evidence and what was said in the trial and he still didn’t grasp it, he was still pleading his innocence. He was found guilty and didn’t turn up for his sentencing, but still had the cheek to appeal.”

Now the brave mum is now calling for new legislation to ensure that all convicted killers are forced to attend their sentencing and face the family.

Speaking about the pain of reliving Olivia's murder during the trial, Cheryl said: "It's a life sentence for us as a family, you never get closure, and then for him to not turn up was a punch in the stomach. It's not a quick process at all. It was draining."

"The pain he has put us through, we've lost Olivia, she was the core of the family, she was the youngest. But whether that makes any difference to him I'm not sure. The law needs changing so other families don't have to go through the same thing, so they get the chance to tell these offenders the pain they have caused.

Olivia's mum Cheryl holding a teddy bear outside Manchester Crown Court (PA)
Cashman lost his appeal to overturn his sentence (Liverpool Echo)

"There's so much that goes into those impact statements and it is for the offenders to listen to them and a chance to make them understand what they have actually done and the grief they have left the family with."

Cheryl's sister, Antonia added: "He had been found guilty and it was like he still had that bit of power and control."

Also backing the call is the family of Zara Aleena, whose killer refused to come to court for his sentencing in a similar display of cowardice. Opposition leader, Keir Starmer has already given his backing to the campaign while Prime Minister Rishi Sunak refused to commit to changing the law before the next election.

Other offenders that have refused to show for their sentencing include the Manchester Arena bomber's brother, and Dennis Akpomedaye who murdered his girlfriend, Anna Jedrkowiak. To sign the petition, for offenders to face the family go here.

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