A jury has heard harrowing evidence from the mother of Olivia Pratt-Korbel about the night her nine-year-old daughter was shot dead in Liverpool.
Thomas Cashman, 34, denies being the masked gunman that shot criminal Joseph Nee in the street and then chased him into the home of Cheryl Korbel last August.
As Ms Korbel tried to stop Nee forcing his way through her front door, the gunman fired another shot which passed through her wrist and into the chest of her daughter Olivia, causing fatal injuries.
On Thursday, jurors spent 50 minutes watching a video interview Mrs Korbel gave to police about what happened.
Recorded on 28 August last year, less than a week after Olivia’s alleged murder, Ms Korbel was still wearing a bandage around her wrist as a result of the incident.
She wept continuously as she told officers how her daughter, often referred to by her mother as ‘Liv’ or ‘the baby’, had been struggling to sleep that night because it was hot.
She had come downstairs a few times to get a drink and her mother had opened the bedroom window for her, the court heard.
Just before 10pm, Ms Korbel, who was chatting to two friends in the living room, heard “loud bangs” outside her house in Dovecot and “jumped up” and went outside to see what had happened, the court heard.
“I thought it was fireworks,” Ms Korbel said.
“When I looked down the street – I seen this one fella had crossed over from the other side of the road. This other lad behind him was all in black, I couldn’t see his face or nothing.
“I realised at that point it was gunshots and it looked like the other one was running after him. I realised he was running towards me.
“I ran back into my house, I shut the door. But the door wouldn’t shut because it was on the snib [latch].”
Ms Korbel said she was trying to keep the door closed and remembers screaming “go away” when another gunshot went off.
“I felt it, it went through my wrist,” she said. “I let go [of the door] and I think at the same time I heard the baby say ‘mum’… when I turned round she was just sat there, at the bottom of the stairs.”
Ms Korbel said she then screamed for her son Ryan to come and help her carry Olivia upstairs but they struggled because of their state of panic and the injury to Ms Korbel’s wrist, the court heard.
“I had to stop, I was bleeding everywhere. I was screaming for a towel,” she added. “I couldn’t keep her awake. I realised she must have been hit.”
A neighbour, named only as Rob, came into the house and performed CPR on Olivia while Ms Korbel was on the phone to the emergency service, the court heard.
“Rob tried so hard,” Ms Korbel said.
Earlier, jurors heard evidence from multiple neighbours who witnessed the incident and also dialled 999 for help.
Firearms police were first at the scene and an officer carried Olivia out in her arms and took her to nearby Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
Tragically, she was pronounced dead at around 11.15pm.
Ms Korbell was taken to Aintree hospital by ambulance and in her video interview she recalled “constantly screaming about the baby”.
“I needed to get to the baby because as far as I was aware she was on her own,” she said.
After Ms Korbel was informed her daughter had died, she spoke to a relative called Antonia who was at Alder Hey, the court heard.
“Antonia told me she was with the baby, I told her not to leave her on her own, she promised me that she wouldn’t,” Ms Korbel said.
Judge Justice Yip decided to end the hearing early because Ms Korbel’s evidence had been “difficult for everyone to listen to”.
She told the jury: “It’s all very well me telling you to put emotions to one side, it’s harder to actually do that. That doesn’t mean you wont feel emotions and this is difficult for everyone to listen to.”
Cashman, of West Derby, Liverpool, denies the murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, the attempted murder of Joseph Nee, wounding Cheryl Korbel and possessing two firearms.
The trial at Manchester Crown Court, expected to last four weeks, continues.