Reward of £200,000 offered in hunt for nine-year-old’s killer

A record reward of £200,000 – the largest in Crimestoppers history – is being offered for information leading to the conviction of Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s killer.

Merseyside police and Crimestoppers held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon reiterating their appeal for people to come forward, a month on from the murder of the nine-year-old.

Nine men have been arrested and released without charge since Olivia was shot dead by a masked man on 22 August at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool.

Joseph Nee, the gunman’s target, who was injured by two bullets, remained in hospital, police said.

Det Ch Supt Mark Kameen, the head of investigations at Merseyside police, said detectives had worked 15,000 hours on the case, gone through 2,000 potential pieces of evidence and trawled thousands of hours of CCTV footage.

He said: “Those involved in this abhorrent crime are poison in the community and we are continuing to bare our teeth and robustly target them. These people have crossed the line in every sense by shooting an innocent nine-year-old and we all have a responsibility to put all those involved behind bars.”

Investigators had identified the two weapons used in the shooting, he said: a .38 revolver that was used to kill Olivia, and a Glock 9mm pistol that has been used in at least two attacks in Merseyside over a two-and-a-half-year period.

A Glock 9mm pistol such as the one that might have been used in at least two attacks in Merseyside.
A Glock 9mm pistol such as the one that might have been used in at least two attacks in Merseyside. Photograph: Merseyside Police/PA

The first recorded use was in Wimborne Close on 27 January 2020, when a 19-year-old man was shot. One of the bullets went through the front door of a house of an innocent member of the public, in a chilling echo of the shooting in which Olivia died.

The second was on 8 August 2022, two weeks before Olivia died and a short distance from her home. Two rival groups, one in a car and the other on motorbikes, fired shots “indiscriminately” near playing fields in Finch Way.

Kameen said: “This occurred in the middle of summer in an area where innocent local people would have been enjoying the park. Once again, as with the first time this weapon was used in our communities, we find that those in possession of it have no care, thought or loyalty for anyone else or their safety.

Police believe these guns are still in the area.

Speaking directly to those who may be protecting Olivia’s killer, Kameen said: “Nobody wants this man around them or where they live. Nobody wants to be associated with him. Some people may tolerate him through fear, but even those people, given the choice, would want him locked away. With your support we can make this happen.

“Someone, somewhere, knows where these weapons are hidden and I want to know where they are. So once again, I am asking you for your help in finding these guns.”

The £200,000 reward offered by Crimestoppers has been put forward by the independent charity’s founder, Lord Ashcroft, and is far higher than any reward previously offered.

In June 2018, the family of the murdered criminal John Palmer, nicknamed Goldfinger, put up £100,000 to catch his killer through Crimestoppers.

Crimestoppers chief executive, Mark Hallas, said: “You can contact us via our website or call our UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111. Details about how to claim this reward are available online.”