‘Silence is not an option’: Heartbroken father of Olivia Pratt-Korbel releases touching Christmas video of them laughing on a carousel as he insists his nine-year-old girl’s death ‘cannot be in vain’

  • Grieving father of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, nine, has begged witnesses to help police 
  • Olivia was killed on August 22 in Liverpool when a gunman burst into her home 
  • Father John Francis Pratt said his family were ‘deprived of a real light in our lives’
  • Police were granted a 36-hour extension yesterday to quiz four arrested men  

The grieving father of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel has begged witnesses to help police with their inquiry as a 36-hour extension for questioning four arrested men gets underway.

Olivia was shot in the chest after a gunman burst into her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, on August 22, while chasing another man who had barged through the door.

In a statement, her father John Francis Pratt said: ‘Olivia’s future has been cruelly snatched away from her and we have been deprived of a real light in our lives.

‘We know that there has been an exceptional response to police appeals and we would like to thank those who have come forward.

Olivia Pratt-Korbel, nine, with her father John Francis Pratt. Olivia was fatally shot on August 22 when a gunman burst into her home in Liverpool

Olivia’s father said the family has been ‘deprived of a real light in our lives’

Her father said: ‘Olivia’s death cannot be in vain and we want people to feel safe and be safe’

Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s father John Francis Pratt and his wider family have today issued this statement: ‘Words can’t express the pain we are going through after Olivia was so cruelly snatched away from us. Those responsible need to know what they have done.

‘Olivia was a real bright spark who knew her own mind, had no problem making friends (she would talk to anyone) and loved to laugh and make people laugh. She could be a proper wind up merchant and loved to wind her nieces up, particularly those who were older than her and when they didn’t like it she’d just laugh and say ‘don’t forget I’m your aunty’.

‘Olivia’s future has been cruelly snatched away from her and we have been deprived of a real light in our lives. We know that there has been an exceptional response to police appeals and we would like to thank those who have come forward. At the same time we want to urge others who may have evidence to keep coming forward with information which could help put those responsible for our Olivia’s murder behind bars.

‘We have been really taken aback by the kindness and support we have received from family, friends and neighbours in the last two weeks and we would like to thank them for being there for us. We know that most people on Merseyside are good-hearted and kind just like them and we all need to stand together.

‘We don’t want another child to lose their life in such horrendous circumstances and we don’t want to see another family suffer like we are suffering now.

‘Olivia’s death cannot be in vain and we want people to feel safe and be safe, that can only happen if we all come together and make sure there is no place for guns, or those who use guns on our streets or in our communities. If you have information make sure you tell the police and if you don’t feel able to do that give the information to Crimestoppers anonymously so action can be taken. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it in Olivia’s name and for children across Merseyside who deserve to enjoy their lives to the full.’

 

‘At the same time we want to urge others who may have evidence to keep coming forward with information which could help put those responsible for our Olivia’s murder behind bars.

A 34-year-old man from Liverpool arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder remains in custody after Merseyside Police was last night granted an extension of 36 hours to continue questioning suspects.

Three other men have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Her father said: ‘Olivia’s death cannot be in vain and we want people to feel safe and be safe.

‘That can only happen if we all come together and make sure there is no place for guns, or those who use guns on our streets or in our communities.’

He added: ‘We have been really taken aback by the kindness and support we have received from family, friends and neighbours in the last two weeks, and we would like to thank them for being there for us.

‘We know that most people on Merseyside are good-hearted and kind just like them, and we all need to stand together.

‘We don’t want another child to lose their life in such horrendous circumstances and we don’t want to see another family suffer like we are suffering now.’

The family described Olivia as a ‘real bright spark’ who loved to laugh and make people laugh.

They said: ‘Words can’t express the pain we are going through after Olivia was so cruelly snatched away from us. Those responsible need to know what they have done.’

A video of the schoolgirl enjoying a ride at a Christmas market with her father was released by the family.

Olivia was shot in her home when a gunman chased convicted burglar Joseph Nee into the property at about 10pm.

A post-mortem examination found the medical cause of her death was a gunshot wound to the chest.

On Saturday, Merseyside Police issued a video for witnesses to come forward with information about Olivia’s death – warning them ‘silence is not an option’.

Merseyside Police said : ‘Watch this and if you know something, tell us. And if you don’t know something, please share it. 

‘Until it reaches the person who does know something. Who does know who killed little Olivia. And knows it’s time to do the right thing.

‘#SilenceIsNotAnOption.’ 

Releasing the footage of the gunman on Thursday, Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen said: ‘I am going to show you footage of the man that murdered little Olivia. I am doing this because people may recognise what he is wearing.

‘It may also help people remember seeing him in the area on the night of Olivia’s murder and be able to help us trace where he went next.’


Olivia Pratt-Korbel (pictured) was fatally shot last Monday, August 22, at her home in Kingsheath Avenue, Liverpool

According to police, footage shows the gunman running along Finch Lane away from Kingsheath Avenue and then turning right into Berryford Road where he goes out of sight.

‘We know he is climbing into and through peoples gardens to avoid being seen,’ he said.

Detective Kameen warned those who are ‘shielding’ the culprit that officers ‘will do everything legitimately possible to bring you to justice’.

‘It is beyond comprehension how anyone can protect a person who is responsible for killing a nine-year-old little girl,’ he added.

Olivia was shot in the chest after a balaclava-clad gunman chased his intended target into the innocent girl’s home in the Dovecot area of Liverpool last Monday evening. 

The youngster’s death has sparked an outpouring of grief and shock among the Merseyside community, with many laying wreaths and leaving cards near Olivia’s family home and more than 200 mourners attending a vigil in her memory last night.

Detective Kameen said that the CCTV was being released in the hope that it might jog people’s memories about seeing the gunman in the area at the time of the incident.

He said: ‘This is the man we are hunting for – We need to know where he went that night or did you see him in the area? Remember this was shortly after 10pm on Monday August 22.

‘I know that there will be people shielding and helping this man. If you are found to be doing this then we will do everything legitimately possible to bring you to justice.’

He continued: ‘This man is toxic. He is toxic to our communities and if you are protecting him then he is toxic to you and your families.

‘I want you to place the loyalty that you have to you families before any loyalty you have for this man. I want information as to where he is now.’

Detective Kameen also told reporters that police could ‘now confirm that there were two guns used during this attack’.

Flowers, wreaths, cards and teddy bears have been laid near Olivia’s family home in the Dovecot area of Liverpool following the schoolgirl’s murder which has shocked the Merseyside community

He added: ‘I believe at this time that the gunman brought both of these weapons with him and that they were still with him when he callously ran away from Olivia’s house. I want to know where those guns are now.’

‘You may have been told to hide them or dispose of them – I understand you may be frightened of contacting us, but I want you to do the right thing for Olivia and tell us where they are right now.

‘If you are hiding the guns and you have no intention of telling us, then I place you in the same category as the vile man responsible for the murder. And we will hunt you too.

‘I would repeat the fact that the actions of the person who carried out this cold blooded attack do not command loyalty in any way, shape or form and Olivia’s family need to know that everyone responsible for her murder have been caught and convicted.

‘So I ask you again – where are those guns now?’

On the man who is believed to have been near the fatal shooting, police previously said: ‘We need to know who this man is as he was in the area when 9-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was shot and killed in her own home in #Liverpool on August 22. 

‘Do you know his name? Did you see him? We believe he may have important information that could help us catch her killer.’

Source: Read Full Article