Was decision of Cashman's girlfriend to wear pink the final insult?
With her botoxed face and trout pout lips, was the decision of Thomas Cashman’s girlfriend Kayleeanne to wear pink – the colour adopted by Olivia’s family – the final insult to the murdered little girl?
- Kayleeanne Sweeney, 34, wore a £350 pink Ted Baker coat to Cashman’s trial
- Pink has been worn by Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s family in memory of their daughter
Of all the colours Kayleeanne Sweeney could have chosen to wear to court during the past few weeks, pink was surely the most distasteful.
Pink has been worn by Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s family in memory of their beloved little girl ever since her tragic death seven months ago.
Pink was the colour of the nine-year-old’s coffin. It is hard to imagine, then, what her killer’s girlfriend was thinking, as she swaggered around Manchester Crown Court in a belted coat in the very same shade, her cosmetically-inflated lips fixed in a defiant pout.
If it was an attempt to garner sympathy, then it was horribly misjudged. Instead, the 34-year-old’s carefully curated outfit; that £350 Ted Baker coat, 50s-style sunglasses, handbag dangling from one forearm and immaculately highlighted and blow-dried hair served as a timely reminder of the financial rewards of being Cashman’s lifelong partner and the mother of his children — the proverbial gangster’s moll.
If Sweeney regrets devoting herself to a wicked criminal who brought home up to £5,000 a week from drug deals — not to mention the infidelity that emerged in court — she showed no sign of it.
If Sweeney regrets devoting herself to a wicked criminal who brought home up to £5,000 a week from drug deals — not to mention the infidelity that emerged in court — she showed no sign of it
Pink has been worn by Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s (pictured) family in memory of their beloved little girl ever since her tragic death seven months ago
In court every day of the four-week hearing and standing by her man to the very last, the beautician put her head in her hands as the jury delivered their guilty verdict.
But she had a lot to lose. For, until Cashman’s arrest last year, the fruits of his evil endeavours were aplenty.
For starters, there was the rented £2,000-a-month detached four-bedroom home on an upmarket estate in Liverpool where the family lived cheek-by-jowl with some of Merseyside’s wealthiest residents.
Sweeney drove a £35,000 Land Rover Discovery Sport, while meat porter’s son Cashman’s choice of car was a £35,000 Mercedes C220 AMG.
Cashman’s £250,000-a-year untaxed income also enabled the pair to rent a luxury two-bedroom love nest in an upmarket waterside development overlooking the River Mersey at Runcorn in Cheshire, where they used to go to ‘chill out’ while Sweeney’s mother babysat their son and daughter.
His ill-gotten gains also paid for skiing holidays, designer clothes, jewellery and watches worth up to £40,000.
Not a bad standard of living for a man who left school by the age of 14 and has never held down a proper job.
The pair, who both come from large extended Liverpool families, were born in 1988 and met in 2001 when they were barely out of primary school.
By Cashman’s own account in court, they started ‘messing about’ and ‘doing things we shouldn’t have been’ when they were 14 or 15, or ‘just kids’, as he put it. As young teenagers, they often split up before getting back together.
Kayleeanne, who — like Cashman —grew up on a council estate, was pregnant with a boy, now aged 14, by the time they were in their late teens. They became engaged in 2015 and also have a four-year-old daughter.
In court, Cashman said he had never revealed to his girlfriend the source of his extraordinary wealth — more than seven times the average salary for the area — but admitted that she and her parents must have suspected he was dealing drugs. ‘She would have had her suspicions. She never asked me, I never told her,’ he said.
In court, Cashman (pictured) said he had never revealed to his girlfriend the source of his extraordinary wealth — more than seven times the average salary for the area
But once he had been arrested, Sweeney can have been in no doubt about the full extent of the criminal foundations on which their family life had been built.
Yet it seems the scales still didn’t fall from her eyes — not even when she heard evidence of Cashman’s infidelities. He had had an affair with the woman who gave evidence against him, who claimed he’d also been seeing one of Sweeney’s close friends.
Sweeney, meanwhile, remained loyal to the child killer, her apparently heavily botoxed face showing no reaction, even when Cashman, sitting in the dock, admitted cheating on her.
The question now is how she will manage without him — not to mention the money with which he supported their family. The police have vowed to go after his drug money.
Since Cashman’s arrest, Sweeney and her children are believed to have returned to the council house where she grew up.
In terms of her own career, she has previously worked as a beautician but the two businesses she ran have since closed. The first was a clinic called Luxury Aesthetics by Kay where she offered botox, microneedling and ‘Russian’ lip fillers at several hundred pounds a pop. She posted photographs of herself online, wearing a white coat with a name badge describing herself as an ‘aesthetic practitioner’.
In April last year, she set up a new business, renting premises in a rundown row of shops just a stone’s throw from Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital where tragic Olivia was pronounced dead in August 2022.
How ironic it is that a woman obsessed with beauty is unable, or simply unwilling, to see the ugly truth staring her in the face.
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