Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s killer Thomas Cashman has already received more than £220,000 in taxpayer cash to fight his case after gunning down the nine-year-old girl – as he launches new appeal against conviction
- Gunman murdered 9-year-old in her own home last August in Dovecot, Liverpool
- 35-year-old lost a fight to have his 42-year sentence cut, but is set to appeal
- Legal Aid Agency warn the fees total may potentially reach £300,000
The gunman who murdered a nine-year-old girl at her home has seen the amount of taxpayer-funded legal aid he has received rocket to over £220,000.
Thomas Cashman was given a mandatory life sentence after being found guilty of murdering Olivia Pratt-Korbel in her own home last August in Dovecot, Liverpool.
The 35-year-old lost a fight to have his 42-year sentence cut today, after lawyers sought to challenge the sentence on the basis that it was too harsh, but their case was thrown out by three appeal judges.
Since June, Mr Cashman’s legal aid bill has increased from £55,698 to £221,765. This figure is set to rise again, after an appeal against the latest conviction is set to be lodged by the murderer’s legal team.
The Legal Aid Agency, which provides criminals with taxpayer funded aid, believes another £80,000 will be added to the total, taking it potentially to £300,000.
Thomas Cashman, now 35, was given a mandatory life sentence after being found guilty of murdering nine-year-old Olivia at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, in August 2022
Olivia died on August 22 last year after she was shot by Cashman as he was pursuing a drug dealer
The news threatens more heartache for Olivia’s mother, Cheryl Korbel, who was also shot when Cashman barged into the family home
A lawyer representing Cashman said the application had yet to be considered by a judge and no hearing date had been fixed.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson added: ‘Thomas Cashman did not receive a penny of this money – it went directly to lawyers so he could be imprisoned for his crimes.’
However, Tory MP Nigel Mills said the astronomical amount of cash acted like a ‘gravy train of legal aid’ for the killer.
Mr Mills added: ‘It feels like this is just a gravy-train of legal aid.
‘These appeals are a disgrace and the taxpayer will be funding them.
‘A jury took a proper look at this case and so did the judge and he has been given a very appropriate sentence.
‘And let’s not forget he was a coward and didn’t even attend his own sentencing hearing.’
The news of an appeal threatens more heartache for Olivia’s mother, Cheryl Korbel, who was also shot when Cashman barged into the family home while hunting his target, convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee.
Cashman was chasing Nee on August 22 last year when he tried to run into Olivia’s home in a bid to escape.
He opened fire, hitting her mother in the wrist as she tried to keep the door shut on Nee, with the same bullet then killing her daughter.
READ MORE – The sordid champagne lifestyle of Olivia’s killer and his shameless ‘gangster’s moll’
The gangland killer was branded a ‘coward’ for his refusal to come into Manchester Crown Court to be sentenced and face Olivia’s family.
Cheryl is among those campaigning for a change in the law to allow judges to force offenders to attend sentencing hearings.
In August, she met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to hear the news that the government has pledged to introduce new laws requiring offenders to appear in court to be sentenced.
The authorities will also be able to use ‘reasonable force’ to make those convicted appear in court – demonstrating to victims and relatives that justice has been done.
The announcement comes after neo-natal nurse Lucy Letby refused to attend her own sentencing for murdering multiple babies.
Many other criminals, including Cashman, have also shunned key hearings.
Cheryl joined the families of Elle Edwards, Zara Aleena and Sabina Nessa in demanding a law change to stop ‘cowardly’ offenders from ‘hiding’ when they are sentenced.
In August, Cheryl met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to hear the news that the government has pledged to introduce new laws requiring offenders to appear in court to be sentenced
An artist’s sketch of Cashman in the dock at Manchester Crown Court on March 30
The grieving mother said she hoped that Olivia was ‘proud of what we’ve done’.
‘Because at the end of the day, it’s in her name, it’s why we’ve done this. And not only in her name, it’s for every other family out there that has gone through it.
READ MORE – Criminals WILL be forced into court for sentencing under new powers given to judges
‘We just hope it gets changed so no one else has to go through it,’ she told ITV.
Cashman’s trial heard how he ‘lay in wait’ with two guns to attack 36-year-old Nee.
After shooting Nee, his victim tried to escape, running towards the Korbels’ front door, opened by Cheryl who had gone outside to see what was happening.
As she tried to block the door on Nee, frightened Olivia ran from her bed to the stairs, shouting, ‘Mum, I’m scared!’
Cashman fired again, hitting Cheryl in the wrist as she tried to keep the door shut on Nee.
The same bullet hit and killed her daughter, who was hiding behind her.
Jailing him, Mrs Justice Yip said the killer was ‘not of previous good character’, had made it clear he was a criminal and had ‘demonstrated no remorse’ during his trial.
She added: ‘His failure to come into court is further evidence of that.’
Cashman shared this photo on social media showing him posing with a fleet of luxury cars
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