Paul Russell jailed for 22 months for assisting killer of Olivia Pratt-Korbel

Paul Russell has today, Wednesday 26 April, been jailed for 22 months for assisting the killer of nine-year-old schoolgirl Olivia Pratt-Korbel.

Russell, 41, of West Derby, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender after admitting giving Thomas Cashman a lift and moving his clothing following the fatal shooting at Olivia’s home in Dovecot on 22 August last year.

The jury in the trial of Cashman were not told of Russell’s involvement or guilty plea until Cashman was convicted of murder last month.

They heard how Russell handed himself into police when he realised Cashman had killed Olivia and not his intended target.

Today he was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to 22 months in prison.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Kelly Ward of CPS Mersey-Cheshire’s Complex Casework Unit, said, “Paul Russell helped Thomas Cashman in the immediate aftermath of the killing and for that he has been sentenced.

“His early guilty plea helped with the prosecution case and the eventual conviction of Cashman and he has shown remorse for his part in these dreadful events.

“The family of Olivia have now seen Cashman and Russell brought to justice for what they did. Thomas Cashman, a callous killer, set out on that fateful night with two loaded guns and took them onto a residential street.

“He has been jailed for life and must serve a minimum of 42 years before he can even be considered for release. And now Paul Russell has been given his sentence.

“This ends a complex and sensitive case for the Crown Prosecution Service which shocked a nation. Our thoughts remain with Olivia’s family.”

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Mark Baker said, “The nation was rightly horrified by the murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel as a consequence of the reckless actions of Thomas Cashman on that night.

“Assisting someone to escape justice when they have committed any crime is to be condemned but particularly so when an innocent child is the victim.

“Thankfully Russell saw fit to hand himself in when he realised the enormity of what Cashman had done and that Olivia had been killed. His guilty plea at least saves Olivia’s family the agony of sitting through another trial and having once again to relive that horrific night.

“Cashman will spend at least 42 years behind bars after being convicted of Olivia’s murder. As a consequence of what he did Russell will now also spend a period of time behind bars where I hope that he will be able to reflect on his actions on that night.”

Image: Olivia Pratt-Korbel/Family handout

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