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Olivia Pratt-Korbel: Brother Recalls Fight To Save Sister

Image source, Police handout

Image caption, Olivia Pratt-Korbel was standing behind her mother on the stairs when she was shot

The brother of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel has told of the desperate fight to save his sister after she was shot in their home.

Ryan Korbel recalled how his mother put “Liv in my arms” but he “knew it was over” in a video interview played to the jury at Manchester Crown Court.

Thomas Cashman, 34, is accused of fatally shooting Olivia and injuring her mother, Cheryl Korbel, 46, at their house in Liverpool on 22 August.

Mr Cashman denies being the gunman.

The court heard shots were fired by a man who had chased Joseph Nee, who is said to be the intended target of the attack, into the house.

Mr Korbel said he had been in his room when he heard three loud bangs and Olivia running downstairs screaming ‘Mum, I’m scared’.

Mr Korbel said he went to the landing and saw Olivia four or five steps up from the bottom of the staircase, a man lying on the floor and his mother “wrestling” with the door.

He said his mother and Mr Nee then managed to shut the door but it “burst back open”.

“An arm’s come round the door with a black handgun and another shot’s gone off, it could be two, I can’t remember,” he said.

“Olivia was in hysterics, my mum was in hysterics, my 18-year-old sister was in hysterics, we all were.”

Image source, Elizabeth Cook/PA Media

Image caption, Thomas Cashman is accused of murdering the schoolgirl

He told officers that Mr Nee was sitting on the doorstep and then went outside, where he followed and was “screaming abuse”.

“I didn’t know my sister had been hit at this point,” he said.

Mr Korbel told police: “My mum put Liv in my arms and told me to keep pressure on her chest.

“I didn’t know why until I lifted her pyjama top up and seen a hole.”

He said a neighbour came in and gave CPR to Olivia, adding “I knew it was over.”

Image source, PA Media

Image caption, The testimony of Olivia’s mum Cheryl Korbel, pictured centre, was previously played to the jury

Two of Ms Korbel’s neighbours had been in her lounge for tea before the attack.

Hayley Freeman said she heard loud bangs outside and said Ms Korbel went to the front door to find out what was going on, when Mr Nee, pursued by the gunman, tried to get into the house.

She said Ms Korbel tried to slam the door and block his way.

‘Stay with me’

In a statement, Ms Freeman said: “I remember Cheryl screaming and the sound of a struggle.

“We both got up and ran into the back kitchen. We shut the door and called 999.

“I heard another bang and saw a flash. I then heard Cheryl screaming, I remember her saying Liv’s name and that Liv had been shot.”

Ms Freeman’s partner, Rob Lamb, who was next door, ran over and took a phone from her as she was calling the emergency services.

He said: “Then I was told the baby, Olivia, had been shot then saw Cheryl over her saying, ‘Stay with me baby’.

“I believe she was still breathing at this point. I think she then stopped breathing and the operator took me through starting CPR.”

PC Daniel Cooper, part of the armed response unit from Merseyside Police, was the first officer on the scene.

Image source, Family handout

Image caption, Olivia was shot when a man burst into her house and opened fire

In his statement, he said: “As I looked at the stairs, I could see a female with an obvious injury to her hand sat crying and shouting hysterically.”

He said he then noticed Olivia.

“An adult male was carrying out CPR with his phone beside him on speaker phone.

“I could see a small bullet entry wound to her chest area, just above her stomach.”

“I decided Olivia needed urgent medical attention. I picked her up in my arms and carried her down the stairs.

PC Cooper said he remembered her body being “limp”.

He told a colleague that “we needed to go straight to hospital as Olivia had a gunshot wound to the chest”.

Mr Cashman, of Grenadier Drive, West Derby, Liverpool, denies the murder of Olivia, the attempted murder of Mr Nee, wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm to Olivia’s mother, and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

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