'Gunman' accused of shooting dead Olivia Pratt-Korbel denies being in 'murder frame of mind' on night of the killing

Thomas Cashman denies being in a 'murder frame of mind' on night Olivia killed Father-of-two told the jury he is 'not a bad drug dealer who sells Class A drugs'

The man accused of killing Olivia Pratt-Korbel has denied being in a ‘murder frame of mind’ on the night of the shooting.

Thomas Cashman, 34, is accused of murdering the nine-year-old and injuring her mother Cheryl Korbel, 46, after chasing convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee into their home in Dovecot, Liverpool, at about 10pm on August 22 last year.

Giving evidence for a third day at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday, he was cross-examined on his movements in the lead-up to the shooting.

David McLachlan KC, prosecuting, asked why he had left his home in West Derby, Liverpool, at about 8.30pm that day.

Mr McLachlan said: ‘Were you starting to get excited?’

Thomas Cashman, pictured in a court sketch taken on March 21, denies fatally shooting Olivia while chasing convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee

Thomas Cashman, pictured in a court sketch taken on March 21, denies fatally shooting Olivia while chasing convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee

Thomas Cashman (pictured), 34, told the jury he is 'not a bad drug dealer who sells Class A drugs' after previously admitting to being a 'high-level cannabis dealer'

Thomas Cashman (pictured), 34, told the jury he is ‘not a bad drug dealer who sells Class A drugs’ after previously admitting to being a ‘high-level cannabis dealer’

Cashman replied: ‘No, I was not starting to get excited.’

Mr McLachlan said: ‘Were you starting to get in the murder frame of mind?’

Cashman said: ‘No, I was not getting in no murder frame of mind whatsoever.’

He denied being a man wearing black tracksuit bottoms who was seen walking from Aspes Road, where Cashman’s Citroen Berlingo van was parked, shortly after 9pm.

Nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel (pictured) died after being shot at her house in Dovecot, Liverpool, in August last year

Nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel (pictured) died after being shot at her house in Dovecot, Liverpool, in August last year

Cashman is also accused of shooting Olivia's mother Cheryl Korbel, pictured here arriving at court earlier this month

Cashman is also accused of shooting Olivia’s mother Cheryl Korbel, pictured here arriving at court earlier this month

He said: ‘What you say is just what you think. You’re trying to make the jury believe what you think to be true when I’m telling you the truth.’

Cashman has admitted being a ‘high-level cannabis dealer’.

He said he did not ‘agree’ with selling Class A drugs but if someone he knew was selling them he would not ‘judge them by it’.

Yesterday, Thomas Cashman told the court that a woman who claimed she heard him confess to the killing was ‘trying to ruin his life’, as he gave evidence.

Cashman, who has admitted being a ‘high-level cannabis dealer’, said that at around 9.15pm on the night of the shooting he was with friend Craig Byrne, who had picked him up from where he parked his van on Aspes Road.

He said they travelled to Mr Byrne’s house, on Snowberry Road, where they went into his spare bedroom to count about £10,000 in cash.

A general view of Kingsheath Avenue, Liverpool, where Olivia Pratt-Korbal was shot dead in her home last August

A general view of Kingsheath Avenue, Liverpool, where Olivia Pratt-Korbal was shot dead in her home last August

He added: ‘We counted money then went downstairs, I done myself a spliff in the kitchen, went in the back garden and was having just a general chit-chat with Craig.’

He said when he later went into the front garden, he could hear sirens and was told by someone there were ‘police everywhere’.

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard from a woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who had a fling with Cashman, who has a partner of 22 years.

She claimed he went to her house after the shooting where he changed his clothes and she heard him saying he had ‘done Joey’.

Asked if at any stage he did confess, Cashman said: ‘No, I did not, she’s trying to ruin my life.

‘She is trying to ruin my life because, for one thing, I won’t leave my partner for her. There’s loads of reasons.’

Cashman also claims the woman’s boyfriend owed him a £25,000 drug debt so she wanted him, ”out of the way”.

Cashman, 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, Cheryl Korbel, and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

The trial continues.

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