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Olivia Pratt-Korbel's mother Cheryl Korbel holds a toy outside Manchester Crown Court following the sentencing of Thomas Cashman in Manchester, Britain . Image Credit: Reuters

A UK judge on Monday jailed a man for more than four decades for shooting dead a nine-year-old girl, concluding the trial of a case that has shocked the country.

The killing last August of Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Liverpool, northwest England - the third fatal shooting in the city within a week - prompted calls for greater action to tackle gun and organised crime.

After a more than three-week trial held under tight security, a jury last week convicted Thomas Cashman, 34, of the schoolgirl's murder and of the attempted murder of his intended target Joseph Nee.

Jurors at Manchester Crown Court also found him guilty on another charge relating to injuring the young victim's mother, Cheryl Korbel, during the attack.

Olivia was shot in the chest as she sheltered behind her mother, who had opened the door of their home after hearing gunshots in the street outside.

Nee, 36, who has a number of previous convictions, had forced his way in, pursued by Cashman, who has admitted being a "high-level" cannabis dealer but had denied being the gunman in the incident.

The jury heard that Olivia had run downstairs after hearing shots outside, saying "I'm scared mummy, I'm scared".

The bullet which killed her was fired through the front door, hitting Korbel in the hand before striking Olivia in the chest.

Cashman on Monday refused to appear in the dock to hear judge Amanda Yip hand him a life term in prison, with a minimum term of 42 years.

He failed to attend because he felt the matter was "turning into a circus", his lawyer John Cooper said.

Passing sentence, Yip said: "The defendant has not acknowledged his responsibility for Olivia's death and so has demonstrated no remorse.

"His failure to come into court is further evidence of that."

Korbel, 46, told the court earlier that Cashman's actions "have left the biggest hole in our lives".

"That man set out to do a job and he didn't care about anyone else or who got in the way," she said.