Police to question Olivia's killer Thomas Cashman about 2013 cold case
‘Police probe 2013 cold case murder linked to Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s killer’ – amid claims the drug dealing hitman could be accused of more offences as gangsters ‘grass’ on him in disgust over his crime
- Olivia’s Pratt-Korbel’s killer Thomas Cashman is being linked to a 2013 cold case
- Karl Bradley, brother of a feared gangster, was fatally shot in a Liverpool garden
- Cashman, 34, was interviewed by officers at the time before fleeing to Spain
A cold case murder previously linked to Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s killer Thomas Cashman is to be reopened by police.
Cashman, 34, was last week found guilty of shooting the nine-year-old dead inside her Liverpool home on August 22 last year and will be sentenced tomorrow.
The killer is being investigated over three other unsolved gangland shootings in Liverpool including the 2013 death of Karl Bradley, The Mirror reports.
Bradley was the brother of notorious Liverpool gangster Kirk Bradley and was found dead in a garden in West Derby with four gunshot wounds.
No one was every brought to justice over the killing, but Cashman was interviewed by officers on suspicion of murder. His alleged involvement will now we re-examined by officers.
Thomas Cashman, 34, was found guilty of murdering nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel last Thursday
A police cordon outside the West Derby home where Karl Bradley was killed in 2013
One source said: ‘Cashman was a prime suspect but police struggled to break a wall of silence. Now a convicted child killer, Cashman has no allies in the city. There is a feeling they won’t protect him.’
After the murder, Cashman fled to Spain where sources described him as a ‘gun for hire’ who was nicknamed ‘the crazy Scouser’. A number of killings in Spain during this period remain unsolved.
The source added: ‘He operated like a ghost. There will be fresh questions about what he got up to.’
Cashman fatally shot Olivia and injured her mother Cheryl Korbel, while chasing a rival gangster Joseph Nee, 36, who burst into their home after Ms Korbel opened the door having heard gunshots. Police have theorised that Cashman may have been hired to kill Nee, but his exact motive is unknown.
Cashman was feared in Liverpool’s Dovecot area as a £5,000 a week cannabis dealer and a suspected hitman – so much so, that within days of Olivia’s murder his name was being openly mentioned on a YouTube podcast as likely suspect, leading to Merseyside Police writing a cease and desist letter to the vlogger, The Express reports.
Cashman may never leave prison as his former underworld contacts could become informants against him.
Bradley, 31, who was the brother of notorious Liverpool gangster Kirk Bradley, was shot four times in his garden (Pictured: police at the scene of the 2013 murder)
It is thought most of the top tier of Cashman’s crime circuit in Liverpool are already in custody, and he may have little information to offer police.
A source said: ‘It is more likely that now he is banged up for good, people will be grassing on him, not the other way round. There’s a few other murders they say he is connected to and they will be less scared to give him up.’
He wept in the dock as he was sentenced to life in prison last Thursday and has since received taunting letters from other inmates at HMP Strangeways amid widespread disgust at his murder of the little girl.
One letter, which was picked up by prison staff, stated: ‘When some loon throws chip fat on your face for killing a little girl you will end up on high protection with sex monsters and other child killers like yourself.’
Another source adds that Cashman is seen by his former associates as a ‘rat’ for killing a child.
The killer wept in the dock as he was convicted last Thursday amid courageous testimony from his former mistress, who defied death threats in order to destroy his false alibi.
Olivia was fatally shot in the chest at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, on August 22 last year
Cashman shared this photo on social media showing him posing with a fleet of luxury cars
Merseyside Police said they have never seen such bravery and the woman has already received the most death threats of any witness the force has dealt with.
She broke the criminal gang code to make sure her ex-lover Cashman was held accountable for his crimes as she tore his testimony apart from the witness box, and even taunted him for lasting just 56 seconds in bed.
Now in the witness protection scheme, she may end up cut off from her friends and family for life.
Giving evidence from behind a screen, Cashman’s former lover was a whirlwind of defiance, conscience and barbed comebacks. ‘I’ve ruined my life for this,’ she told Manchester Crown Court. She said he had brought her a ‘world of pain’.
Kayleeanne Sweeney, Cashman’s partner, turned up every day during the trial at Manchester Crown Court
Thomas Cashman, 34, wiped away tears in the dock after being found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of murdering nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel
Giving evidence from behind a screen, Thomas Cashman’s former lover was a contradictory whirlwind of defiance and vulnerability, conscience and barbed comebacks. ‘I’ve ruined my life for this,’ she told Manchester Crown Court. Pictured: Stock image of silhouette
It all started when hitman and drug dealer Cashman carried out a botched hit job on Joseph Nee, 36.
Olivia’s mother Cheryl heard shots being fired and opened the front door. Nee pushed his way in as he tried to escape, while Cashman fired through the door.
A bullet struck nine-year-old Olivia in the chest. She died in her mother’s arms.
Cashman fled to his ex’s house as began a long endeavour to get away with the murder that shocked the nation.
His ex, a very modern-day heroine has since been granted a lifetime of anonymity under the witness protection scheme and is believed to have been moved out of Liverpool – ruing the day, no doubt, she and Cashman started their affair.
She described how drug dealer Cashman had jumped over back gardens to seek refuge at her home on the night of August 22, last year.
And how, after realising he had killed nine-year-old Olivia, she had reported the man she had been ‘infatuated’ with to the police – putting her own life on the line in the process.
As the star witness at Cashman’s 18-day murder trial, she had to provide humiliating and tawdry details about the couple’s affair, including the size of Cashman’s genitalia.
Yet if she felt diminished or daunted by the terrifying prospect of Cashman seeking revenge, she disguised it well.
As she put it to the killer’s lofty defence team: ‘I’m more than ready for you, so come on.’
So impressive was her candour that Detective Superintendent Mark Baker of Merseyside Police said: ‘In my 30 years as a police officer, I’ve never seen such bravery.’
Another police source told The Sunday Times: ‘Cashman is a drug dealer and a violent gangster. For her to give evidence against him meant everything — not only to Olivia’s family, but to the communities of Merseyside, and Merseyside police force as an organisation. It was the moment when Liverpool’s community said, “Enough is enough.”‘
Cashman grew up living with his parents Stephen, a meat worker, and Angela, in a terraced council house just 15 minutes away from Olivia’s home.
He started delivering newspapers and washing cars before working at fairgrounds in Wales after he left school at around the age of 13 or 14.
Before he was convicted for Olivia’s murder, the father-of-two was living in a upmarket area of Liverpool in a £450,000 home.
Having become pivotal to Cashman’s conviction, she is said to have faced more threats than any witness Merseyside Police have ever dealt with.
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