The Daily Telegraph
Record £200,000 reward on offer in hunt to find Olivia’s killer
A RECORD £200,000 reward has been offered by Crimestoppers in the hunt for Olivia Pratt-korbel’s killer.
The nine-year-old was fatally shot inside her home in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, on Aug 22 by a masked gunman who had been chasing two gangland rivals in the area.
Merseyside Police have arrested nine men as part of their investigation into her death but all have since been bailed.
The independent charity has now offered a record reward for information that leads to a conviction.
The sum was increased after Lord Ashcroft, the charity’s founder and chairman, doubled an initial pledge of £50,000 to match the offer of £100,000 put forward by a private donor. Lord Ashcroft said: “This case has been incredibly shocking, not just for those who are directly affected, but also for Liverpool and the nation as a whole.
“I am delighted that with the support of a private donor, Crimestoppers can now offer a record £200,000 for information to catch Olivia’s killer.
“A precious young life has been lost so we need every effort to find those involved in this appalling killing.”
Mark Hallas, the charity’s chief executive, said: “When you contact Crimestoppers we never ask for or store personal details.
“All we ask is that you tell us what you know about who killed Olivia so that there can be some slow healing for her mother, her family, the city of Liverpool and everyone who has been touched by this truly awful murder.” Meanwhile, police have revealed that Olivia’s killer was carrying a gun that had previously been used to shoot through a front door in Merseyside.
In what Det Ch Supt Mark Kameen described as a “shocking similarity to the circumstances leading to Olivia’s murder”, bullets from the Glock-type 9mm pistol went through a door in January 2020, but no one was injured.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Mr Kameen said that the nineyear-old’s killer had been using two firearms on the night of her death – the .38 revolver used in her murder and a 9mm pistol.
The gunman fired into Olivia’s home after one of his targets had tried to take refuge inside when her mother, Cheryl Korbel, opened the door to investigate the sound of gunshots in the street. As Ms Korbel desperately tried to close the front door, the gunman fired through the gap, hitting her in the wrist and wounding Olivia, who had been standing behind her on the stairs.
Mr Kameen told the press conference that the earlier incident with the pistol “evidences the callous nature of those people in possession of this weapon”.
He added: “They have no regard for the safety or life of anyone else. They do not therefore deserve anyone’s loyalty.”
The firearm had been used in the 2020 shooting at Kingsheath Avenue, along with the .38 revolver used in Olivia’s death.
Mr Kameen said: “These are incredibly dangerous weapons that are in the hand or hands of people that don’t care about anyone else. Therefore, why should you show them any loyalty? We know that one of these guns has been used in three separate incidents and I am determined to take these weapons off our streets, before they can maim or kill anyone else.”
The force’s work with the National Ballistics Intelligence Service revealed the 9mm weapon had been used exclusively in the Dovecot area for the past two years, pointing to local ownership of the firearm.
Mr Kameen warned: “I want people to tell us where these guns are now.
“I have been disgusted by a small number of individuals who are determined to thwart the investigation, protect the key individuals involved and try and ensure that Olivia and her family do not receive the justice they deserve.
“No one should shoot a child and not face justice – silence is not an option.”