Olivia Pratt-KorbelFamily handout

The intended target of the shooting which killed Olivia Pratt-Korbel shouted “please don’t” as his friend ran “for his life”, a court has heard.

Thomas Cashman, 34, is accused of carrying out the attack in Dovecot, Liverpool, which killed the nine-year-old girl and injured her mother Cheryl Korbel, 46, as well as Joseph Nee, 36.

A police interview with a man, who was with Mr Nee when the gunman opened fire on 22 August, was shown to the jury.

Mr Cashman denies being the gunman.

Manchester Crown Court heard how the gunman fired through the front door of the Korbel family home just after 22:00 BST.

He had been chasing Mr Nee, who is said to have been the intended target, through the street, the trial heard.

The bullet hit Ms Korbel in the hand and fatally wounded Olivia in the chest.

In a police interview, Paul Abraham, 41, said that he and Mr Nee had left a friend’s house that evening when he heard loud bangs.

He said: “Both of us ran. One must have got Joey.

“He fell over. I don’t even know when he got shot, he just fell.

“As he rolled over I just basically jumped over him and went through a gate.”

Court artist sketch of Thomas Cashman

Elizabeth Cook/PA Media

Mr Abraham said he saw Mr Nee continue running up the street, and the attacker, with two hands on what he thought was a gun, walking up the road.

He said: “As I was going up the entry [Mr Nee] was saying ‘please don’t’, I heard him shouting ‘please, don’t’.”

Mr Abraham said he thought he heard two further bangs as he jumped over fences of back gardens to get away.

He said: “I was just running for my life basically.”

When Mr Abraham was initially asked whose house they had been at earlier that evening, he did not tell police.

He said: “It’s not down to me this, I don’t want to get myself into trouble either.”

The court heard Mr Nee and Mr Abraham had been watching a football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at the house of friend Timothy Naylor on Finch Lane.

Cheryl Korbel arrives at Manchester Crown Court

PA Media

In a statement, Mr Naylor said: “I had no idea Joey was at risk, if I had thought Joey was under threat or his life was at risk I’d never ever have him near my house.”

He said he heard bangs and a male screaming shortly after Mr Nee and Mr Abraham left the house.

Mr Naylor said: “I rang Paul after hearing the bangs.

“Paul was hysterical, sobbing on the phone and he couldn’t get his words out.

“I knew something bad must have happened to him or Joey.”

Mr Naylor said he had known Mr Nee since they were children and they had been playing golf and socialising together “since he got out of jail last time”.

Mr Cashman, of Grenadier Drive, West Derby, Liverpool, denies the murder of Olivia, the attempted murder of Mr 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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Source: BBC

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