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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Jonathan Humphries & Adam Everett

Olivia's brother walks out of court as Paul Russell defence ask for suspended sentence

The family of Olivia Pratt-Korbel reacted with frustration as representatives of Paul Russell addressed the court during his sentencing today.

John Pratt, Olivia's dad, said "so what?" as Liverpool Crown Court heard the man who helped his son's killer dispose of evidence was finding his time in prison "isolating". Russell, 41, gave killer Thomas Cashman a lift from the home of Russell's partner, where the ruthless gunman had fled to after shooting Olivia dead on Kingsheath Avenue, Dovecot, on August 22 last year.

Russell also returned and collected a bag of clothing Cashman, 34, had worn during the shooting, which he then passed to another accomplice who has not been identified.

Cashman was last month convicted of lying in wait for rival drug dealer, Joseph Nee, in the street armed with two guns. He shot Nee three times but when his Glock 9mm pistol "malfunctioned", he chased Nee down the road and towards the home of Olivia's mum, Cheryl Korbel, who had stepped outside to see what was going on.

READ MORE: Paul Russell live updates as man who helped Thomas Cashman cover his tracks faces sentence

As the screaming Ms Korbel tried to keep Nee out, Cashman blindly fired a shot from his second weapon, a revolver, through the front door. The bullet struck Cheryl in the arm, and then hit Olivia in the chest.

Cashman was jailed for life with a minimum of 42 years in prison. Russell, meanwhile, had already admitted assisting an offender and his been on remand in prison awaiting sentence.

The court today heard that Russell was "not aware of the true horror" of what Cashman had done when he agreed to help him. Tom Schofield, defending, told the court: "“His involvement in the events of August 22, however substantial or peripheral, will be a source of shame until the day he dies. He will never live them down."

Mr Schofield told the court that Russell had been threatened in prison and had been moved to an unidentified facility under an "assumed identity". He had also been handed a threat to life notice by police, known as an Osman Warning, after he was charged.

Mr Schofield highlighted how Russell gave Cashman's name to police and had been "terrified of him". But as he told the court that a sentence of under two years could be suspended, Olivia's brother, Ryan Korbel, walked out of court.

High Court judge Mrs Justice Yip has retired to consider sentence and will return shortly.


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