...By Muyiwa Aderinto for TDPel Media.
Thomas Cashman Refuses to Attend Sentencing for Murder of Nine-Year-Old Olivia Pratt-Korbel
Thomas Cashman, 34, was found guilty last week of killing nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in August of last year. However, the Liverpool man refused to leave his cell to attend his sentencing at Manchester Crown Court.
Olivia’s mother, Cheryl Korbel, arrived at the court holding a patchwork teddy bear made from her daughter’s clothes, hoping to see Cashman’s sentencing in person.
Cashman is expected to receive a lengthy prison term after also being convicted of the attempted murder of Joseph Nee, the wounding with intent of Olivia’s mother, and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Cashman’s absence from the sentencing is believed to be due to fears that a £250,000 bounty has been placed on his head by crime bosses, who are worried he will inform on other gang members.
The court heard that Cashman was aware that the Crown Prosecution Service was celebrating after his verdict, leading him to be concerned that the proceedings were becoming a “circus.”
Mrs. Justice Yip called Cashman’s refusal to attend the sentencing “disrespectful” to the court and those interested in the proceedings, including Olivia’s family.
Armed police were stationed outside the court due to concerns over the bounty on Cashman’s head.
A gang insider told The Sun that the order to silence Cashman has already been circulating in the North and in prisons.
Those who ordered the hit are worried that Cashman will reveal information about gang executions and unsolved murders in an attempt to lessen his sentence.
The insider added that Cashman has knowledge about organized crime, drugs, and violence in Merseyside.
Cashman’s former lover, who became a key witness in his trial, has been granted a lifetime of anonymity and is believed to have been moved out of Liverpool due to the numerous threats she has faced.
Despite his refusal to attend the sentencing, Cashman will still be sentenced in absentia and is facing decades behind bars.
The family of Olivia Pratt-Korbel breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday after the unanimous verdict of the jury at Manchester Crown Court.