Jurors have been told not to be influenced by an “emotional reaction” as they were sworn in for Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s murder trial.
Ten men and two women have been selected to serve on the jury at Manchester Crown Court for the trial of Thomas Cashman, who is accused of shooting the nine-year-old girl.
The 34-year-old is alleged to have been the gunman responsible for the fatal shooting of Olivia at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, just after 10pm on 22 August last year.
Her mother, Cheryl Korbel, 46, was injured in the shooting as the gunman chased Joseph Nee into their home.
The 12 jurors were picked from a panel of 60 and were selected along with two men who will sit as “spare” jurors for the opening.
Mrs Justice Yip told them of the importance of not letting themselves be “influenced by any emotional reaction or sympathy”.
She said: “Naturally, the death of a child, any child, is a sensitive topic and one where it is normal to experience an emotional reaction.
“It is very important for you to do your job as jurors you put those emotions aside so you can properly consider the case and the issues you need to consider.”
Mrs Justice Yip said: “I mention it now because if you are aware of a heavy police presence in and around the building you shouldn’t be surprised by that, you shouldn’t be worried by that.
“It is perfectly normal when we have got high-profile cases going on in this building.”
Before the jurors were selected, Mrs Justice Yip said: “I realise many of you will have heard about Olivia’s death, at the time there were lots of reports about it.
“If you did see or hear the news reports you may have formed some views at the time.
“It would be perfectly natural to have felt shock and upset about it, you may well have talked about it with family and friends at the time, as we all tend to do.
“The jury who will try the case will be presented with all the evidence.
“Of course, no one has yet heard any of the evidence, so any views that you or anyone else had at the time of news reports are not informed views that a jury will have when they get to the end of the case.
“The verdict the jury reach will be based on the evidence they hear in court and not on anything else.”
Olivia’s family, including her parents and siblings, sat in the courtroom next to the dock, where Cashman was flanked by four officers.
Cashman’s relatives sat in the public gallery at the back of court for the first day of the trial, which will be opened on Tuesday by David McLachlan KC, prosecuting.
Cashman, from West Derby, has denied murdering Olivia, as well as the attempted murder of Nee and the wounding with intent of Olivia’s mother.
He also denies two counts of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.