A man accused of murdering nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in a botched ‘execution’ is innocent because he has an alibi, a witness told court.

Nicky McHale, 32, told a jury he saw and spoke to Thomas Cashman, 34, around the time he is alleged to have shot dead Olivia in Dovecot, Liverpool.

Mr McHale told Manchester Crown Court he saw Cashman smoking cannabis in the garden of a house over the road from where he lived at the time of the shooting -around 10pm on August 22 last year.

When David McLachlan KC, prosecuting, asked the witness who was giving evidence from behind a screen why he was here, Mr McHale replied: ‘Because I know Thomas Cashman is innocent.’

Mr McLachlan continued: ‘Been put-up to being here?’

A man accused of murdering nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel (pictured) in a botched 'execution' is innocent because he has an alibi, a witness told court

A man accused of murdering nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel (pictured) in a botched ‘execution’ is innocent because he has an alibi, a witness told court

Nicky McHale, 32, told a jury he saw and spoke to Thomas Cashman (pictured), 34, around the time he is alleged to have shot dead Olivia in Dovecot, Liverpool

Nicky McHale, 32, told a jury he saw and spoke to Thomas Cashman (pictured), 34, around the time he is alleged to have shot dead Olivia in Dovecot, Liverpool

‘No, I’m not,’ the witness replied.

Cashman is alleged to have shot convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee, 36, in the street, before the victim fled into Olivia’s home as her mother Cheryl Korbel tried to block his entry, Manchester Crown Court has heard.

Cashman is accused of firing again, the bullet hitting Ms Korbel in the hand, before hitting and killing her daughter, who was stood behind her.

Mr McHale said on the night of the shooting he had been watching football on TV at home on Snowberry Road, Dovecot, and when the match finished went outside to smoke a cigarette.

Cashman is alleged to have shot convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee, 36, in the street, before the victim fled into Olivia's home as her mother Cheryl Korbel tried to block his entry. Cashman is accused of firing again, the bullet hitting Ms Korbel in the hand, before hitting and killing her daughter, who was stood behind her

Cashman is alleged to have shot convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee, 36, in the street, before the victim fled into Olivia’s home as her mother Cheryl Korbel tried to block his entry. Cashman is accused of firing again, the bullet hitting Ms Korbel in the hand, before hitting and killing her daughter, who was stood behind her

Olivia was fatally shot in the chest at her home in Liverpool in August last year

Olivia was fatally shot in the chest at her home in Liverpool in August last year 

He told the jury that while stood on his front door he looked across the road and saw Cashman smoking a spliff in the front garden of the house opposite.

He said the two spoke briefly about the football match before McHale went back inside his home.

After the shooting, Cashman is alleged to have gone to the house of a woman he had a fling with and changed his clothes.

The woman, a key prosecution witness, who cannot be identified, alleges she overheard Cashman say he had ‘done Joey’.

However, Mr McHale said after initially seeing Cashman across the road the defendant was later in his house to smoke another spliff and asked for a drink.

He did not have any in the house, so used Cashman’s van to go to a local shop to buy tins of coke, his trip being caught on CCTV.

Earlier, under questioning from John Cooper KC, defending, Mr McHale said he had never given evidence in court before and his only previous conviction was for possession with intent to supply £4,000 worth of cannabis.

Cashman has admitted being a ‘high-level’ cannabis dealer, making up to £5,000 a week in drugs money, but denies he was the gunman who shot Olivia dead.

The defendant, of Grenadier Drive, 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.

The trial continues.



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