UK police charge man with murder of 9-year-old girl, shot in Liverpool

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British police and prosecutors on Saturday said they had charged a 34-year-man with the August murder of a nine-year-old girl shot dead at her home in Liverpool, northwest England.

Olivia Pratt-Korbel was shot in the chest on August 22 when the perpetrator’s intended target burst into her house to try to escape his attacker, in what has been described as a suspected gang war incident.

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Her death -- the third fatal shooting in the city within a week at the time -- shocked the country and prompted calls for greater action to tackle gun and organized crime.

In a statement, Merseyside Police said Thomas Cashman, from the Liverpool suburb of West Derby, had been charged with the young girl’s murder “following an extensive and complex investigation.”

The force has also charged him with the attempted murders of the girl's mother Cheryl Korbel and Joseph Nee, a convicted burglar, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which brings charges in England and Wales.

Cashman faces a further two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Paul Russell, 40, from the same suburb, has been charged with assisting an offender, police added.

Both men will appear at Liverpool Magistrates Court on Monday.

The CPS said it had authorized the charges “following a review of a file of evidence received from Merseyside Police.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen said its probe “continues in earnest.”

“I would ask for your continued support so we can keep the promise we made to Olivia’s family and the local community to ensure that those involved face justice,” he added, noting the response so far had been “overwhelming.”

Kameen said those still sought included “the people who have tried to shield and protect individuals, and those who have supplied the weapon or are hiding the weapons used in this incident.”

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