Olivia Pratt-Korbel's mum says heartfelt 'goodnight' at funeral – BBC

By Tom Mullen
BBC News, Liverpool

Nine-year-old shooting victim Olivia Pratt-Korbel's mum bid an emotional "goodnight" at her daughter's funeral.
Olivia died after a gunman burst into her Liverpool home and began shooting while chasing another man.
In her eulogy at a packed church, Cheryl Korbel told how Olivia "touched so many people's hearts and was loved and adored by everyone".
"I will never say goodbye but what I will say is goodnight, love you, see you in the morning," she said.
Silence fell on the neighbourhood ahead of the service at St Margaret Mary's Church in Dovecot, just streets away from where the shooting happened.
Mourners were asked to wear "a splash of pink" in Olivia's memory while her nearby school was also adorned in pink decorations.
Uniformed police officers attended, while hundreds of local residents gathered in the road outside.
Ms Korbel, who was also injured in the shooting, carried a pink teddy into the service, after her daughter's coffin arrived in a carriage led by white horses.
She said Olivia had been born six weeks early and spent nine days in a special baby unit and even as a newborn "she had her own mind".
The schoolgirl was described as mature for her age, and "very independent".
"She would choose her own clothes, even as a toddler," Ms Korbel said. "She was very particular. She loved to think she was an adult."
She also described Olivia's "cheeky smile" and "mischievous" nature, and how she "loved sparkle and glitz".
"Olivia was very chatty and bubbly and would talk for England, to the point we thought she had Duracell batteries inside her somewhere!"
She told how her daughter "loved to sing and dance", had a great imagination, and "knew exactly how to wrap people around her little finger" especially her brother Ryan and sister Chloe.
Olivia loved animals, she said, and would put the family dog Gizmo in a pram, adding she would have made a great lawyer "as she had an answer for everything".
"Many times she would surprise me with the answers she would give and I'd have to remember how old she was."
Ms Korbel added: "Liv touched so many people's hearts and was loved and adored by everyone. She will never be forgotten."
A eulogy from her father John Francis Pratt was read by parish priest Father Roy Cooper.
He talked about "our very own little diva" and said Olivia was kind, caring and helpful.
Rebecca Wilkinson, head teacher at St Margaret Mary's Catholic Junior School, said: "The memory of her is very much alive".
Nine people have so far been arrested in connection with the 22 August shooting but no charges have been brought.
Speaking before the service, Mrs Wilkinson said the school had cancelled its usual timetable to give pupils a day of reflection.
"It is all about Olivia today," she said. "All 480 of our children will be making flowers, and each one of those 480 flowers will be put together to make a memorial for Olivia."
The pink theme was a nod to a time when Olivia came to school wearing pink nail polish and spent the day with her hands closed to hide them from teachers, Mrs Wilkinson said.
"The children are free to speak about Olivia, it is not something they are afraid to talk about," she said.
The head teacher previously recalled how Olivia "would walk into my room with her friends and her smile would light up the place".
"The memory of her is very much alive in the school," Mrs Wilkinson added.
The school said pupils were considering building a rose garden and naming part of the playground in memory of Olivia.
The Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson paid tribute on social media, she said: "Let us hope justice is swift and true."
The senseless murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel was a crime beyond belief.

A life of innocence, devastatingly taken in the place where she was safest – home.

Today we offer our prayers, love & support to Olivia’s family as they lay her to rest.

Let us hope justice is swift & true. pic.twitter.com/UTZWENAyFn
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