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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Patrick Edrich

Paul Russell warned he should never return to Merseyside after helping Thomas Cashman

The man who helped Thomas Cashman after he killed Olivia Pratt-Korbel has been warned not to return to Merseyside upon his release from prison.

The 41-year-old was today sentenced to 22 months for the part he played in helping cover up the murder of the nine-year-old schoolgirl. Justice Amanda Yip, who also presided over the proceedings in Thomas Cashman's trial, said Russell's involvement was "so serious" that only immediate custody was justified.

Justice Yip said Russell had expressed frustration at being prosecuted, despite coming forward with information about Cashman and spending a month in witness protection. Russell however agreed to plead guilty - and Justice Yip added: "The fact you went to the police limited the assistance you provided to Mr Cashman."

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

The court earlier heard how Russell's parents had been forced to flee Merseyside. Justice Yip added Russell will also not be allowed to return to Merseyside when he is given a new identity.

The judge said: "Your willingness to come forward demonstrates a recognition of the suffering caused to the family. I am satisfied your cooperation has come at the cost of a serious and real threat to you. You were served with a threat to life notice.

"You now face an uncertain future. Upon your release you will not be allowed to return to Merseyside and lose contact with family and friends.

"You have suffered and will continue to suffer real interference with your family life. Your cooperation with the police and the impact this has had on you and your family is powerful mitigation."

Olivia's family were in court to hear the sentence. Her brother Ryan had earlier got up and walked out the courtroom after Tom Schofield, defending Russell, asked the court to recognise the "hardship and disruption" he had brought upon himself.

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 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 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 gunpowder 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.

Cashman was sentenced to a minimum of 42 years earlier this month.


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

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

Olivia Pratt-Korbel's family in court for Paul Russell sentencing

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