A woman who had a ‘fling’ with a ‘gunman’ accused of murdering Olivia Pratt-Korbel claims she had become ‘infatuated’ with him and that he ‘groomed’ her.
Thomas Cashman, 34, is accused of murdering the nine-year-old and injuring 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 injuring Olivia, on August 22 last year.
The second week of the trial at Manchester Crown Court opened today with a woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, answering questions about her relationship with Cashman from the accused’s lawyer, John Cooper KC.
The jury heard last week that the witness had implicated Cashman, telling police after the shooting that he had gone to her home, where he had changed his clothes. She also claimed she heard him say he had ‘done Joey’, the court was told.
Thomas Cashman, 34, is accused of fatally shooting Olivia (pictured) and injuring her mother, Cheryl Korbel, 46
Mr Cooper suggested to the witness that Cashman had used her for sex and this had made her tell lies to police to ‘ruin’ him.
He said: ‘Central to your dishonest evidence in this court is you with Thomas Cashman.
‘Made you want to ruin him?’
She replied, ‘No. Ruin him… you find out what you find out.
‘I have had to do what I have had to do for a little girl here. I have had to go through a lot of pain, to think about what Tommy done.’
The woman told jurors she felt she was ‘groomed and lied to’.
Mr Cooper asked: ‘Groomed?’
She replied:’ A million percent. A million percent I was groomed.’
The woman said she was ‘infatuated’ with Cashman but ‘it wasn’t about the sex’.
She told the court: ‘I was infatuated with him. I liked the way he listened to me. I have never had anyone who listened to me like he listened to me . He was a good listener and a good friend.’
Cashman, of 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 life
Cheryl Korbel, Olivia’s mother, arriving at Manchester Crown Court on Monday for Cashman’s trial
Mr Cooper, during cross-examination, told the woman: ‘About the time of this tragic killing, you were angry, resentful and vindictive.’
‘I was not,’ she replied.
‘I certainly didn’t want a relationship with a thug with a little willy.’
She added: ‘I have not been asked one question about a nine-year-old girl who lost her life. That little girl can’t go home, so I’m passionate about that.
‘Let’s get to the good bits. Why not ask about the shooting?’
Mr Cooper replied: ‘Good bits? Because we say you are a liar.’
The witness said she had not initially told police about having a ‘fling’ with Cashman because she was ‘petrified’.
Aerial view shows a forensic tent outside Olivia’s home on Kingsheath Avenue on August 25
She said: ‘I have not got family. I was petrified. Absolutely petrified.
‘Thomas Cashman has done what he’s done and he can’t own it, love.’
At one point during the exchanges, trial judge Mrs Justice Yip asked the witness to look at her, to take a moment and to calm down.
Cashman, of 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.