A woman who had an ‘affair’ with a ‘gunman’ accused of murdering Olivia Pratt-Korbel claims she had ‘fallen in love’ with him and was ‘groomed’ by him.
Thomas Cashman, 34, is accused of murdering the nine-year-old girl and wounding her mother, Cheryl Korbel, 46, at their home in Dovecot, Liverpool.
Cashman is accused of chasing another man, Joseph Nee, into Olivia’s home and firing his gun, missing Nee and hitting the mother and daughter, fatally wounding Olivia, on August 22 of last year.
The second week of the trial at Manchester Crown Court began today with a woman, whose name cannot be identified for legal reasons, answering questions about her relationship with Cashman from defendant’s lawyer, John Cooper KC.
The jury heard last week that the witness had implicated Cashman and told police after the shooting that he had gone to his home, where he had changed his clothes. She also claimed that she heard him say that she had “done Joey”, she told the court.
Thomas Cashman, 34, is accused of fatally shooting Olivia (pictured) and wounding her mother, 46-year-old Cheryl Korbel.
Mr Cooper suggested to the witness that Cashman had used her for sex and this had caused her to tell lies to the police to “ruin” him.
He said: ‘The center of your dishonest evidence in this court is you with Thomas Cashman.
“Made you want to ruin it?”
She replied: ‘No. Screw it up… you find out what you find out.
I’ve had to do what I’ve had to do for a girl here. I’ve had to go through a lot of pain to think about what Tommy did.
The woman told jurors that she felt she was being “set up and lied to.”
Mr. Cooper asked: ‘Fixed?’
She replied: ‘A million percent. A million percent was fixed.
The woman said she was ‘in love’ with Cashman but ‘it wasn’t about sex’.
She told the court: ‘I was in love with him. I liked the way she listened to me. I have never had anyone listen to me the way he listened to me. He was a good listener and a good friend.
Cashman, from Liverpool, denies the murder of Olivia, the attempted murder of 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 the life.
Cheryl Korbel, Olivia’s mother, arrives at Manchester Crown Court on Monday for Cashman’s trial
Mr Cooper, during cross-examination, told the woman: “At the time of this tragic murder, you were angry, resentful and vindictive.”
‘I wasn’t,’ she replied.
“I certainly didn’t want a bully relationship with a little willy.”
She added: ‘I haven’t been asked a question about a nine-year-old girl who lost her life. That girl can’t go home, so I’m passionate about that.
‘Let’s get to the good parts. Why don’t you ask about the shooting?
Mr. Cooper replied: ‘Nice bites? Because we say you’re a liar.
The witness said she had not initially told police she had an “affair” with Cashman because she was “petrified.”
The aerial view shows a forensics tent outside Olivia’s home on Kingsheath Avenue on August 25.
She said: ‘I have no family. I was petrified. Absolutely petrified.
“Thomas Cashman has done what he’s done and he can’t admit it, love.”
At one point during the exchanges, the trial judge, Ms. Justice Yip, asked the witness to look at her, take a moment, and calm down.
Cashman, from Liverpool, denies the murder of Olivia, the attempted murder of Nee, wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm to Ms Korbel and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
The trial continues.