Jurors in Olivia Pratt-Korbel murder trial told to put emotion aside

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Jurors have been told not to be influenced by an “emotional reaction” as they were sworn in for the trial of a man accused of shooting of a nine-year-old girl.

Ten men and two women were selected on Monday to serve on the jury at Manchester Crown Court for the trial of Thomas Chapman, accused of the murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel.

Cashman, 34, is alleged to have been the gunman responsible for the fatal shooting of Olivia at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, at just after 10pm on August 22 last year.

Olivia Pratt-Korbel death
Olivia Pratt-Korbel (Family handout/PA)

The twelve jurors, who were selected along with two men who will sit as “spare” jurors for the opening, were picked from a panel of 60.

Mrs Justice Yip told them of the importance of not allowing themselves to be “influenced by any emotional reaction or sympathy”.

She said: “Naturally, the death of a child, any child, is a sensitive topic and one where it is normal to experience an emotional reaction.

“It is very important for you to do your job as jurors you put those emotions aside so you can properly consider the case and the issues you need to consider.”

Jurors were told there was likely to be a “lot of security” around the court building but they should not be affected by it.

Mrs Justice Yip said: “I mention it now because if you are aware of a heavy police presence in and around the building you shouldn’t be surprised by that, you shouldn’t be worried by that.

“It is perfectly normal when we have got high-profile cases going on in this building.”

Thomas Cashman court case
Court artist sketch of Thomas Cashman appearing via video link at Liverpool Crown Court for a pre-trial review (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

“If you did see or hear the news reports you may have formed some views at the time.

“It would be perfectly natural to have felt shock and upset about it, you may well have talked about it with family and friends at the time, as we all tend to do.

“The jury who will try the case will be presented with all the evidence.

“Of course, no-one has yet heard any of the evidence, so any views that you or anyone else had at the time of news reports are not informed views that a jury will have when they get to the end of the case.

“The verdict the jury reach will be based on the evidence they hear in court and not on anything else.”

Olivia’s parents and siblings sat with other family members in the courtroom next to the dock, where Cashman was flanked by four officers.

Relatives of Cashman sat in the public gallery at the back of court for the first day of the trial, which will be opened on Tuesday by David McLachlan KC, prosecuting.

Cashman, of Grenadier Drive, West Derby, denies the murder of Olivia, the attempted murder of Nee and the wounding with intent of Olivia’s mother.

He also denies two counts of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

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