The trial of the man accused of shooting dead nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel will begin under a police ring of steel in Manchester today.
Olivia was fatally shot at her home in the Liverpool region of Dovecot just after 10pm on 22 August last year.
Her mother, Cheryl Korbel, 46, was also injured in the shooting as the gunman chased convicted burglar Joseph Nee, into their home.
Thomas Cashman, 34, denies Olivia’s murder, the attempted murder of Nee and the wounding with intent of Olivia’s mother, Ms Korbel.
Cashman, of West Derby, Liverpool, also denies two counts of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
He was brought into court under heavy security measures this morning, arriving with a large police convoy as armed officers surrounded the court building.
Olivia’s mother and father, John Francis Pratt, arrived at court this morning wearing pink ribbons in memory of their little girl.
Following her death, Olivia’s family described her as a “unique, chatty, nosey little girl who broke the mould when she was born”.
They said: “Although her life was short, her personality certainly wasn’t and she lived it to the most she could, and would blow people away with her wit and kindness.”
Olivia’s funeral was held at St Margaret Mary’s Church in Knotty Ash in October.
The trial, at Manchester Crown Court, is expected to last for four weeks.