Merseyside Police have made their tenth arrest as they investigate the shocking murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbell in her home in Liverpool
Merseyside Police have made their tenth arrest as they investigate the shocking murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbell in her home in Liverpool last month.
The schoolgirl died in the city’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after being shot in her home in Knotty Ash when a gunman who was chasing convicted burglar and drug dealer Joseph Nee burst into the property about 10pm on August 22, firing indiscriminately.
Olivia’s mother Cheryl Korbel was hit in the wrist as she desperately tried to shut her front door, but the bullet also struck her daughter who was standing behind her. The youngster was rushed to hospital but could not be saved. Neither the gunman or his target had any links to Olivia’s family. Nee remains in hospital.
Detectives have now made their tenth arrest in connection with the attack but, so far, no one has been charged with Olivia’s murder as detectives said anyone withholding information in case is ‘protecting the killers’ amid a code of silence within Liverpool’s gangs.
In a statement today, the force said: ‘Detectives have arrested at 34-year-old man on suspicion of the murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel on 22 August 2022. The investigation into Olivia’s murder is ongoing and we continue to appeal for people with information to come forward to assist us in bringing those responsible to justice.
‘Anyone with information is asked to DM @MerPolCC or contact @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111.
‘If you have any CCTV/dashcam/smart doorbell footage that could help our inquiries they can be downloaded on the dedicated public portal for Olivia’s murder, which will go straight through to the investigation team. Footage can be submitted here Public Portal (mipp.police.uk).’
Olivia Pratt-Korbel, the nine-year-old Liverpool girl who was shot dead in her home in Liverpool last month
Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s coffin is carried out of St Margaret Mary’s Church on September 15, 2022
This is the killer caught on CCTV. Police are sure he is being protected as they try to find the guns he was carrying
Police and forensic officers at the property in Kingsheath Avenue, Knotty Ash, Liverpool, where nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was fatally shot
Merseyside Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen said: ‘This occurred in the middle of summer in an area where innocent local people would have been enjoying the park. Once again, as with the first time this weapon was used in our communities, we find that those in possession of it have no care, thought or loyalty for anyone else or their safety.
‘Once again, they do not deserve anyone’s loyalty.’
DCS Kameen appealed for patience as the force investigates the murder of nine-year-old Olivia. Nine people have been arrested so far but all have been released under investigation.
Speaking at a press conference earlier this month, he said: ‘I recognise that people will wonder and question why no one has been charged despite those arrests. If I could reassure you that this is normal practice in any complex investigation, the threshold for arresting somebody is far lower than that of charging someone. Please be patient with us. The investigation is progressing.
‘The detectives involved in bringing justice for Olivia and her family are working tirelessly with real care and passion to achieve the objective of securing those charges against everyone involved in her murder. No matter how small their role.’
Officers in the investigation have worked more than 15,000 hours, trawled through thousands of hours of CCTV and investigated more than 400 piece of intelligence passed on by the public.
Two weeks ago, Mrs Korbel, 46, spoke to a packed congregation of mourners at St Mary Margaret’s Church in Knotty Ash.
Hundreds of people, many of them wearing a ‘splash of pink’ at Olivia’s family’s request, lined the streets as the youngster’s coffin was brought to the church by a white, horse-drawn carriage.
Dressed in a black jacket with a pink ribbon, Mrs Korbel told the congregation Olivia, known to family and friends as Liv, had been born six weeks early and spent nine days in a special baby unit.
‘She was so small yet even as a newborn she had her own mind,’ Mrs Korbel said.
She described Olivia’s ‘cheeky smile’ and how she loved animals and to sing and dance. The mother-of-three added: ‘Olivia was very chatty and bubbly and would talk for England, to the point we thought she had Duracell batteries inside her somewhere.
‘She would have made a great lawyer as she had an answer for everything.’
Ending the eulogy, Mrs Korbel said: ‘Liv touched so many people’s hearts and was loved and adored by everyone. She will never be forgotten. I will never say goodbye but what I will say is goodnight, love you, see you in the morning.’
A eulogy from Olivia’s father, John Francis Pratt, was read by parish priest Father Roy Cooper. He described ‘our very own little diva’ and said Olivia was kind, caring and helpful.
Olivia’s sister Chloe also gave a reading during the hour-long service.
In a eulogy, Olivia’s mother Cheryl Korbel (pictured holding a pink teddy) said: ‘Liv touched so many people’s hearts and was loved and adored by everyone. She will never be forgotten’
Crimestoppers is offering a record £200,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of those responsible for the murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Liverpool
Olivia’s white coffin, with butterflies painted on the side, was topped with lilies. Unicorn and teddy bear-shaped floral tributes were placed alongside it in the carriage.
Rebecca Wilkinson, Olivia’s headteacher at St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School, which is next door to the church, attended the funeral.
Pupils have decorated the school railings with pink ribbons, while Olivia’s name has been spelled out in pink hearts in the windows. Her classmates also painted their nails pink in her memory and watched her favourite film, Matilda, instead of having lessons.
In his homily, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon said Olivia was a ‘gift to her family and all who knew her’.
He said he had faith that ‘Olivia’s untimely death will lead to a community here in Liverpool without violence, that it will become a place of peace and justice.’ Amazing Grace was sung as Olivia’s coffin was carried out of the church.
Her family hugged and wiped away tears while mourners applauded as the cortege left for a private family burial.
People can contact Crimestoppers anonymously us via its website or on 0800 555 111