Man accused of Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s murder trying to ‘pull the wool over juror’s eyes’, court hears | UK News

The man accused of killing Olivia Pratt-Korbel is trying to “pull the wool over juror’s eyes”, the prosecution in his trial has claimed.

Meanwhile, the defence has argued that hitmen do not find their target and then “go home for tea”.

Thomas Cashman, 34, is accused of killing the nine-year-old in Liverpool last August as he chased a convicted drug dealer.

In his closing speech on Monday, David McLachlan KC, prosecuting, said it was a “case that shocked not simply a city not too far away from here but also a nation”.

“The news at the time made front-page headlines across the country and this is a case which will live with you forever,” he told the jury of 10 men and two women at Manchester Crown Court.

Olivia Pratt-Korbel
Olivia Pratt-Korbel

He said Cashman would have the jury believe that the “strands of evidence put forward by the prosecution” are a “series of misunderstood or random, unconnected events, in short simply a multitude of coincidences that don’t point in the direction of his guilt”.

Mr McLachlan said the prosecution’s conclusion is that Cashman is “not the unluckiest man in the world with all these circumstances conspiring against him”.

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“He is not the victim of a woman trying to stitch him up for murder. The man in the dock, we submit, is the gunman who shot Olivia and he is not prepared to own it.

“We say – but you will decide – that Thomas Cashman must think that you were all born yesterday.”

He told the jury that they “know better than anyone when someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes; that’s what the prosecution say Thomas Cashman is trying to do”.

Police officers outside Manchester Crown Court for the trial of Thomas Cashman
Police officers outside Manchester Crown Court for the trial of Thomas Cashman

Mr McLachlan also described Cashman’s evidence as a “dummy’s guide to drug dealing in Dovecot”.

CCTV footage of the moment the shots were fired was shown to the court during the prosecution’s closing speech.

Mr McLachlan said: “The evidence will lead you to the truth.

“The prosecution say he’s not prepared to own it, he never will be, but he knows what the truth is and, with respect, great respect, we respectfully submit that you do too.”

Cashman ‘was not the hitman’, defence says

Meanwhile, John Cooper KC, defending, said the prosecution’s argument that Cashman was acting as a “hitman” on the night of Olivia’s death is not the case.

Pointing to the prosecution’s argument that Cashman was “scoping out” an area to shoot Joseph Nee (the intended target of the attack), Mr Cooper said the Crown’s narrative “doesn’t make sense”.

Thomas Cashman social picture
Thomas Cashman denies the charges against him

The prosecution has argued Cashman saw Nee’s van on several occasions while travelling around the Dovecot area on the day of the shooting.

Mr Cooper told the jury that when hitmen find “their target, they wait for their target, they don’t go home for tea”.

“Why does he [Cashman] behave that way? Because he was not the hitman,” Mr Cooper argued.

“How can the Crown possibly say they put emotion to one side and keep telling you to put emotion to one side when they finished their speech with playing of the horrific CCTV footage, as if you, members of the jury, hadn’t quite got it. Do you feel a little bit insulted by that?

Olivia Pratt-Korbel
The nine-year-old was killed at her home in Liverpool

“You get it, you get the tragedy, you get the brutality. Let’s give you a bit of respect, you don’t need it played four times.”

Mr Cooper went onto accuse the prosecution of “Cinderella syndrome”, telling the jury: “We’ll force this evidence into a shoe that doesn’t fit and we’ll play the banging video again a couple of times.”

Cashman denies murdering Olivia, the attempted murder of Joseph 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.

The trial continues.