The Daily Telegraph

Mother bids a last goodnight to Olivia at her funeral

- By Daily Telegraph Reporter

THE mother of Olivia Pratt-korbel has said “goodnight” to her daughter as mourners turned out in pink for her funeral.

Cheryl Korbel, 46, carried a pink teddy into the service to pay tribute to the nine-year-old who was shot after a gunman burst into her Liverpool home while chasing another man.

St Margaret Mary’s Church in Knotty Ash was full for yesterday’s funeral Mass with people also standing on the pavement outside to pay their respects.

Pink ties, jackets, scarves and bows were worn by those attending the service after her family asked people to wear “a splash of pink”.

In a eulogy, Ms Korbel, who was injured in the shooting at her home in Dovecot on Aug 22, said Olivia was born six weeks early and spent nine days in a special baby unit.

“She was so small yet even as a newborn she had her own mind,” she told the congregati­on.

She said Olivia was “chatty” and “bubbly” and joked that her daughter would talk so much that they thought she ran on Duracell long-life batteries.

She added: “Olivia knew exactly how to wrap people around her little finger to get what she wanted, especially her brother Ryan and sister Chloe.

“She would often give them a cheeky smile and they would give in instantly.

“Liv touched so many people’s hearts and was loved and adored by everyone. She will never be forgotten. I will never say goodbye but what I will say is goodnight, love you, see you in the morning.”

A eulogy from her father, John Francis Pratt, was read by parish priest Father Roy Cooper. He described “our very own little diva” and said Olivia was kind, caring and helpful.

Her coffin was taken to the church in a white horse-drawn carriage, with floral tributes in the shape of a unicorn and a teddy placed alongside it.

Malcolm Mcmahon, Archbishop of Liverpool, said Olivia was “a gift to her family and all who knew her”.

He said: “In St Paul’s words, let us comfort one another with words of faith – faith in each other, faith in God and faith in the belief that Olivia’s untimely death will lead to a community here in Liverpool without violence, that it will become a place of peace and justice.”

Police are continuing to hunt for the gunman who chased convicted burglar Joseph Nee into Olivia’s family home at about 10pm.

Lord Ashcroft, the founder of Crimestopp­ers, has offered a £50,000 reward for informatio­n leading to the conviction of those responsibl­e for her death.

 ?? ?? Mourners wearing pink for Olivia’s funeral comfort each other after the service
Mourners wearing pink for Olivia’s funeral comfort each other after the service

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