Family of Olivia Pratt-Korbel warn killer her pictures will ‘haunt you for the rest of your days’

Olivia Pratt-Korbel
Olivia Pratt-Korbel

The devastated family of Olivia Pratt-Korbel have paid tribute to their “tiny cheeky little girl” and in a message to her killer said pictures of the smiling nine-year-old will “haunt you for the rest of your days”.

The tragic schoolgirl is believed to have been caught in the crossfire between warring gangsters who operated in the Dovecot area of Liverpool.

Convicted drug dealer and career criminal Joseph Nee, 35, was ambushed by a masked gunman on Monday night and as he tried to escape forced his way into the Korbel family home.

His attacker, who is believed to have been a former associate and neighbour of his, then fired into the house wounding Cheryl Korbel and killing nine-year-old Olivia.

Posting a picture of Olivia wearing a gold dress and tiara, her heartbroken uncle, Peter Korbel wrote: “Our family will remember this picture of my beautiful niece with happiness and pride… this tiny cheeky little girl with the Korbel attitude thrown in and then some… but to the scum that’s done this, this picture is going to haunt you for the rest of your days.”

Olivia Pratt-Korbel - Chris Neill
Olivia Pratt-Korbel – Chris Neill

Her cousin Rebecca Louise also paid tribute to Olivia and vowed to do everything to bring those responsible for her murder to justice.

She said: “I don’t think I or the family will ever find the words to describe the heartache we have all felt in the past 24 hours.

“We haven’t just lost ‘Our Liv’, we’ve lost a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin and a granddaughter. Our little Liv who was full of life, full of sass and most definitely knew what she wanted in life.

“You had so much potential and a full life to lead beautifully. I can only apologise for the cruel world we live in and the monsters in it. My heart aches so much and I don’t think we will ever digest what’s happened.

“We will find who did this and we will get justice for you baby girl.”

Meanwhile, Merseyside Police continued to appeal for anyone with information about the events of Monday night to come forward in confidence.

On Wednesday, it emerged that Nee, 35, who sustained two gunshot wounds, had only recently been released from prison on licence.

He was arrested on Tuesday morning in hospital where he was being treated for his injuries for breaching the terms of his licence and will be returned to prison to complete his sentence once he recovers.

Detectives said they will also continue to question him about the murder of Olivia.

Nee was jailed for 45 months in 2018 for a string of burglary offences and was only caught after he and two other men led police on a 125mph chase across Cheshire and Merseyside.

He admitted two counts of burglary, two counts of theft of a motor vehicle, dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving whilst disqualified.

In 2009 he was jailed for six and a half years after being convicted of being part of a drug gang that flooded the streets of Liverpool with heroin and crack cocaine.

At his sentencing hearing, the judge in the case described him as a “trusted foot soldier” of a serious organised crime gang.

Terrified locals in the Dovecot area of the city claim the attack on Nee was a revenge hit following a shooting in a nearby children’s playground earlier this month.

Nobody was injured in the incident on August 8 at Ackers Hall Park – a place popular with Olivia and her friends – but people in the community claim it ignited tension between rival criminal gangs.

Speaking while on a “walkabout” at the scenes of three fatal shootings in Liverpool, Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “People are understandably upset and nervous and this is why I want to provide some reassurance that we are doing everything we can to catch those responsible.”

She added: “People are angry this is happening in their communities, where some have lived for many years. We are urging people, if they have information, to come forward and give us names.”

Published by anthonyhayble

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