Drug dealer named as target of shooting that killed Olivia, nine


he intended victim of the shooting that killed nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Liverpool has been named as a convicted drug dealer and burglar.

Joseph Nee, 35, was most recently jailed for 45 months in 2018 after admitting two counts of burglary, two counts of theft of a motor vehicle, dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving whilst disqualified.

He was part of a group that led officers on a high-speed chase before they were captured, the Liverpool Echo reported.

Nee will now be recalled to prison after breaching his licence conditions during the shooting tragedy on Monday.

Olivia was fatally shot in her own home in the Dovecot area of the city on Monday night when Nee forced his way in as he tried to escape a gunman chasing him.

Olivia Pratt-Korbel, nine, was shot in the chest

/ Family photo

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen said Nee allegedly breached his licence conditions with “poor behaviour” and had been detained in hospital.

Merseyside Police said: “He will be further questioned in connection with the murder and remains in a stable condition.”

Nee suffered gunshot wounds to his upper body and, as Olivia lay dying, was picked up and taken to hospital by friends driving a dark-coloured Audi.

He was freed from prison on licence last year when he was automatically released part-way through a fixed jail term.

Nee is not believed to have been living in probation-run accommodation, and his case is yet to be referred to the Parole Board, which reviews offenders who are recalled to prison to decide when they can be re-released.

Olivia’s death is one of three fatal shootings in the area in the space of a week, and comes 15 years after 11-year-old Rhys Jones was fatally shot on his way home from football practice in Croxteth, Liverpool.

She was at home with her two older siblings when her mother Cheryl Korbel opened the door after hearing gunshots fired outside.

Ms Korbel, 46, was shot in the wrist as she tried to close the door on the gunman while Olivia stood behind her.

The gunman was wearing a black padded jacket, a black balaclava with a peak, dark trousers and black gloves, and had fired shots at two men walking along Kingsheath Avenue, causing them to flee.

Tributes including flowers and teddies have been left near the scene of the shooting amid shock.

On Facebook, Olivia’s heartbroken uncle Peter Korbel posted a photo tribute, saying: “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 xx but to the scum that’s done this, this picture is going to haunt you for the rest of your days.”

Her cousin Rebecca Louise told Metro: “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.

Burglar Joseph Nee, 35, forced his way to Olivia’s home to escape a gunman

/ Cheshire Police

“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.”

Olivia went to St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School in Huyton, where she was thought of as a kind-hearted, helpful and happy little girl, according to her headteacher Rebecca Wilkinson.

Officers from Merseyside Police carried out a series of raids targeting gun crime in the city on Wednesday as tributes continued to pour in for the schoolgirl.

A young girl lays a tribute in Kingsheath Avenue, Knotty Ash, Liverpool

/ PA

The force’s Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said the “shocking” killing “crosses every single boundary” as the force appealed to the “criminal fraternity” in Liverpool for information.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen said investigators had received CCTV and names from members of the public.

He told the BBC: “We are receiving CCTV, we are receiving names, we are receiving information. People are telling us where they were and what areas they were in, which is absolutely fantastic.”

Urging the community “to keep helping this family in every way possible”, he said in a further statement: “Our inquiries continue into the shocking murder of Olivia, and supporting her family as they try to come to terms with this tragedy.

“We will do all we can to take all of these involved in gun crime off the streets, as this arrest demonstrates.

“This is not the time for anyone who knows who was responsible to stay silent.

“It is a time for us all to make Merseyside a place where the use of guns on our streets is totally unacceptable and those who use them are held to account.

“If you saw, heard, captured or know anything, tell us directly or anonymously and we will continue to act.”

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