Olivia Pratt-Korbels killer named in secret meeting two days after tragedy

A man jailed for assisting the man who killed nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in her home met with police two days later.

Paul Russell was jailed for 22 months in April for assisting Thomas Cashman in relation to the fatal shooting of the schoolgirl on August 22 last year.

He disposed of clothing worn by the child killer and drove him back to his van in the aftermath of the incident.

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41-year-old Russell secretly met with police in a retail park and named Cashman as the gunman two days after the tragic incidnet.

According to reports by Liverpool Echo in April, Tom Schofield, defending, told Liverpool Crown Court that his client had not been aware of the full extent of Cashman's crimes on the night in question.

Having learned of nine-year-old Olivia's death the following day, Russell arranged a meeting with a detective sergeant from Merseyside Police at New Mersey Retail Park in Speke on August 24.

It was here that he "named Tommy Cashman as the person responsible".

Mr Schofield said it was unclear whether this was the first time that police had been given his name in relation to their investigation, with Justice Amanda Yip adding: "At the time, the police did not have evidence of Mr Cashman’s involvement even if they had reports.

“It was Mr Russell who came forward to the police. He is the partner of [a witness who cannot be named for legal reasons], who did end up giving evidence against Mr Cashman."

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Cashman's trial at Manchester Crown Square Crown Court was told that he had "garden hopped" to Russell's partner's home in the aftermath of the incident.

She cannot be named for legal reasons but reported that she had phoned her boyfriend after being woken by the killer at her bedside.

Russell too attended the address after this call, at which point Cashman of Grenadier Drive in West Derby was said to have told him at the doorstep "I've done Joey". This was an apparent reference to Joseph Nee, the intended target of the attack.

He meanwhile said to Cashman "lad, don’t wanna hear it, don’t tell me nothing". Russell then drove Cashman to Aspes Road, where he had parked his Citroen Berlingo van before heading to the scene of the shooting on foot.

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The shooter left the dark clothing he had been wearing on the kitchen floor beside the woman's washing machine. Russell later took these clothes around 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.

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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 found unanimously guilty of murder Olivia, attempting to murder Nee, wounding with intent against Cheryl Korbel and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

He was jailed for life with a minimum term of 42 years.

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