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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Jonathan Humphries & Ellen Kirwin & Adam Everett

Paul Russell to be given new identity after helping child killer Thomas Cashman

Paul Russell will be given a new identity after pleading guilty to helping child killer Thomas Cashman.

Today, the 41-year-old has been sentenced to 22 months for the part he played in helping cover up the murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel. Tom Schofield, defending Russell, told the hearing Russell’s parents have had to move away from Merseyside since the shooting.

Mr Schofield said that Russell will also "not be allowed to return to Merseyside." He added: "[He will be] given a new identity and no doubt be looking over his shoulder for some years to come."

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

"It would be naïve not to recognise this hardship and disruption he has brought upon himself. Of course, all of that hardship and disruption is but a drop in the ocean of grief that Olivia’s family have had to endure and will continue to endure. I do ask the court to reflect those circumstances in some way in his sentence."

Ryan Korbel, Olivia's brother, then got up and walked out of the courtroom. Russell, of Snowberry Road, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender in October 2022.

Manchester Crown Court previously heard Cashman had "garden hopped" to Russell's partner's home after shooting the schoolgirl. She cannot be named for legal reasons, but reported that she had phoned her boyfriend, Paul Russell, after being woken by the killer at her bedside.

When Russell arrived, Cashman was said to have told him at the doorstep "I've done Joey" , who was the intended target of the shooting. Russell allegedly said "lad, don’t wanna hear it, don’t tell me nothing".

He then drove Cashman to Aspes Road, where he had parked his Citroen Berlingo van. Russell later took the clothes Cashman's had worn during the shooting to the home of Craig Byrne, an associate of the murderer, on Snowberry Road as he walked his dog late that night.

Dad-of-two Cashman was given a navy blue pair of his co-defendant's Under Armour tracksuit bottoms during his pitstop at the woman's home. These were later discovered in a cardboard box at his sister's home on Mab Lane, and when tested were found to contain his DNA and two particles of gunpower residue on the outer surface of the right leg.

He was also handed a black and grey Under Armour t-shirt belonging to Russell, which was subsequently located in the box. A speck of Cashman's blood was found on the garment.

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