Olivia Pratt-Korbel‘s mother held up a special patchwork ‘memory’ teddy which was made from her daughter’s clothes and bore the eulogy from her funeral as the schoolgirl’s murderer was brought to justice yesterday.
An emotional yet ‘ecstatic’ Cheryl Korbel held the pink bear aloft as she walked out of Manchester Crown Court after a jury convicted 34-year-old Thomas Cashman of murdering her little girl at the end of a four-week trial.
As Ms Korbel, 46, clutched onto the beautifully hand-crafted teddy, the scars from where a bullet went through her hand were still visible.
Over the course of the trial, the jury heard how Cashman had shot the mother-of-three as she tried to stop the man he was chasing, Joseph Nee, entering her house on August 22.
The bullet travelled through Ms Korbel and hit Olivia in the chest just as she ran downstairs saying: ‘Mum, I’m scared’. She was fatally wounded and died a short time later.
Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s mother, Cheryl (pictured), held up a special patchwork ‘memory’ teddy which was made from her daughter’s clothes
Nine-year-old schoolgirl Olivia (pictured) was murdered by Thomas Cashman at home on August 22 last year
The jury heard how Cashman (pictured) shot Ms Korbel as she tried to stop the man he was chasing, Joseph Nee, entering her house on August 22. The bullet went through her hand and killed Olivia
Olivia’s mother – dressed in a pink cardigan – had earlier held the special teddy tight while sat next to her children Chloe and Ryan as the jury returned five guilty verdicts for Cashman, which included wounding Ms Korbel.
What is a memory bear?
It is a special type of teddy bear which has been carefully made from the clothing of a loved one.
Memory bears can often provide comfort to those grieving.
They can be made from all sorts of clothing such as shirts, dresses or even blankets.
The memory bear for Olivia – in her favourite colour pink – has been carefully curated with her clothes as well as words from her mother’s eulogy.
The teddy bear made out of the murdered schoolgirl’s clothes – as confirmed by the Express – features a patchwork heart with the message, ‘Goodnight, I love you, see you in the morning, Mwah’.
These were just some of the words used by Olivia’s heartbroken mother at her daughter’s funeral.
Ms Korbel clutched the same teddy at the September 15 funeral, where guests all wore pink – the nine-year-old’s favourite colour.
Olivia’s mother ended her eulogy by saying: ‘Liv touched so many peoples hearts and was loved and adored by everyone.
‘She will never be forgotten. So us and I will never say goodbye.
‘But what I will say is goodnight. Love you, see you in the morning, mwah.’
The bright pink bear’s paws also feature the words ‘My Liv’ on one side with a heart, and ‘Terror tot’ on the other.
There is also a floral necklace and a pink bow wrapped around the bear’s neck.
Merseyside Chief Constable Serena Kennedy called Cashman ‘despicable’, adding: ‘Olivia will never run down again on a Christmas morning and open her presents.
On the teddy, a patchwork heart had a message from Ms Korbel’s eulogy at her daughter’s funeral. ‘Goodnight, I love you, see you in the morning, Mwah,’ it said.
Ms Korbel clutched the special ‘memory’ teddy close as a the jury returned five guilty verdicts for Cashman
The bright pink teddy’s paws also feature the words ‘My Liv’ on one side with a heart, and ‘Terror tot’ on the other
‘She will never go to high school, she will never get to be married, to have children. He’s robbed her family of all those.’
Cashman, a father-of-two, insisted that around the time of the shooting he had been at a friend’s house where he counted £10,000 in cash and smoked a spliff.
In fact, during his evidence, he told the court: ‘I’m not a killer, I’m a dad.’
But a woman who had a fling with Cashman told the jury he came to her house after the shooting, where he changed his clothes and she heard him say he had ‘done Joey’.
She went into witness protection shortly after revealing the facts to police.
Olivia’s mother Cheryl was pictured holding the pink teddy at her daughter’s funeral in September
Ms Korbel holds the pink bear as Olivia’s coffin is led out of the church at her funeral on September 15
In a eulogy to her daughter Olivia, grieving Ms Korbel said: ‘Goodnight, I love you, Mwah’
Cashman, who was also found guilty of the attempted murder of Nee and possession of firearms with intent to endanger life, sobbed in court and bowed his head as a jury returned its verdict.
The killer’s family protested his innocence, with his partner Kayleeanne Sweeney, putting her head in her hands and one relative shouting ‘appeal it’.
Outside court, Cashman’s family continued shouting and swearing as they fumed that they were ‘livid’ over the verdicts.
Cashman is due to be sentenced on Monday. Paul Russell, 41, will be sentenced alongside him after admitting to driving the killer away from a house he fled to and disposing of his clothes.