Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s killer refused to face the girl’s family for sentencing after finding out prosecution officials celebrated his conviction by breaking into song.
Thomas Cashman, 34, was found guilty last week of murdering the nine-year-old and wounding her mum Cheryl in a botched hit on a rival drug dealer in Liverpool last August.
Chasing Joseph Nee into Olivia’s home, he fired a bullet which missed his target and passed through the front door and Cheryl’s hand before striking the girl in her chest.
Cashman was nowhere to be seen as he was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 42 years by a Manchester Crown Court judge on Monday.
He was revealed by his defence barrister to have become upset that Crown Prosecution Office staff sang Queen’s ‘We Are the Champions’ following his last hearing, where the jury returned its verdict.
John Cooper KC told the court: ‘He has been spoken to and been given certain advice but he is concerned that the matter is turning into a circus.’
Ruling that the hearing could go ahead in his absence, Mrs Justice Yip slammed Cashman’s absence as ‘deeply disrespectful’ to both her court and Olivia’s grieving family.
His antics caused several minutes of delay to proceedings and meant Cashman – unlike the vast majority of criminals in the UK – did not have to listen to victim impact statements read out in court.
In her statement, Ms Korbel, 46, said Olivia was planning to donate 12 inches of her hair to the Princess Trust, which creates wigs for sick children.
Olivia had been due to have her ponytail lopped off five days after the date of her murder.
In his statement, Olivia’s dad, John Pratt, said: ‘Each day I feel completely overwhelmed and I don’t know how I’ll cope. I can’t stay at my home. It’s a constant reminder of the loss of Olivia.
‘I want to visit Olivia and sometimes sit outside the cemetery. If I go inside, it will all seem real. My heart is broken every time I hear Olivia’s name on the television.
‘Olivia will never call me dad again. All I want is my baby back and roasting marshmallows as I promised her on the last time I saw her.
‘I will never get to keep this promise or give her the Christmas presents I bought her. She will never get the opportunity to fall in love and have her own children.
‘I will never get the opportunity to see my daughter on her wedding day. Most of all, I’ll never get to see her grow into the beautiful woman she was destined to become.
‘We have been robbed of her future and the amazing teenager and adult she was destined to become. She will be forever nine.’
Claims emerged separately that Cashman is at risk of violent and potentially deadly reprisals from other inmates – some motivated by disgust, others by money.
Gangland bosses have reportedly placed a £250,000 on his head, fearing he could implicate them in a number of other unsolved murders.
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