The gangster who was the intended target in the sickening murder of schoolgirl Olivia Pratt-Korbel has been freed from jail.
Joseph Nee, 36, was shot in the chest and chased into the Liverpool home of Olivia, nine, by drug dealing hitman Thomas Cashman in August last year.
As Cashman fired towards Nee, Olivia was fatally shot in the chest as she stood behind her mother Cheryl in the hallway of their home.
Father-of-two Cashman, 34, is serving a 42-year prison sentence after being found guilty of the killing that appalled the nation.
Nee, who had been sentenced to 45 months in prison in 2018 for burglary and other crimes but was released early in 2020, was recalled to jail after the killing.
Olivia Pratt-Korbel was shot in her home after drug dealing hitman Thomas Cashman chased gangster Joseph Nee into the house and fired at him
Joseph Nee (left), 36, was shot in the chest and chased into the Liverpool home of Olivia, nine, by drug dealing hitman Thomas Cashman (right) in August 2022. Nee has now been freed from jail
The convicted drug dealer ended his prison term this month and is now a free man, The Sun has reported.
But Nee is said to have been warned to stay away from Liverpool amid fears gangsters have placed a bounty on his head.
A source told The Sun that 'dangerous people want him dead', adding: 'There is a price on his head. He’s to lay low.'
During Cashman's trial, the court was told of his intended target Nee’s long criminal history, his links to drug dealing and organised crime and how his family had enemies.
Police investigating Olivia’s murder arrested Nee, who lived near Olivia's home in the Dovecot area of Liverpool.
He was on parole when he was ambushed by Cashman who shot Olivia.
Career criminal Nee had spent time in prison throughout his life for a host of serious crimes including drug offences, burglary and theft.
MailOnline revealed in March that Nee was due to be released from prison later this year.
As Cashman fired towards Nee, Olivia, pictured, was fatally shot in the chest as she stood behind her mother Cheryl in the hallway of their home
Photographs of a topless Nee (furthest left) in HMP Kirkham, taken in 2019 and understood to have been shared on Instagram by a drug gang baron, showed him bragging about life behind bars and relaxing alongside fellow prisoners in the warm weather
On December 2, the Parole Board assessed the recall and had the option of recommending his release again if it considered he was not a danger to the public.
However the panel decided he would remain in jail for the remainder of his sentence.
Nee chose not to appeal the decision and remained in prison where he believed he was safer than on the outside, MailOnline revealed in March.
A source said: 'Nee knows he is a marked man on the outside so decided to accept the Parole Board's decision. He is safer in prison at the moment.'
MailOnline has obtained Nee’s Parole Board notes, which explains the chronology of his release and a timeline leading up to Olivia’s murder on August 22 last year.
The written summary of the Parole Board's decision is a withering indictment of Nee's criminal history and his claims that he was an 'innocent' victim of a random shooting.
Olivia was senselessly and callously murdered by Cashman in Liverpool in 2022
It states: 'On November 20, 2020, Mr Nee was released at the automatic release point in his sentence as is required by the law.
'His licence was revoked and he was recalled on the 23 August 2022 and was returned to custody on the 29 September 2022.
'The recall decision followed an incident where Mr Nee was chased by a gunman, and in effort to escape, forced his way into a private home that was not connected to him.
'Mr Nee was pursued into the property, the gunman fired several shots, injuring Mr Nee and the female occupant of the property, and, tragically, killing a nine-year-old girl.
'Mr Nee has said that he was an innocent victim in the events that led to his recall.'
The Parole Board summary states that Nee had most likely gone back to his life of organised crime upon his early release on licence.
Several police cars pictured on Kingsheath Avenue as officers hunted the gunman responsible for Olivia's death in August 2022
Olivia Pratt-Korbel, nine, was the tragic victim of suspected gang land shooting in Liverpool. She was left for dead after being gunned down in her own home. Nee had been shot before he ran into her house
It adds: 'The panel was satisfied that it was likely that Mr Nee had remained involved with organised crime on licence and that he had been the intended target of a gangland shooting.
'Given the circumstances, the panel found the decision to recall him to custody at this time had been appropriate.'
The summary continues with a stark assessment of Nee's deep involvement with drugs gangs and organised crime in and around Merseyside.
It states: 'The panel considered Mr Nee to be accurately described as a professional criminal with an involvement in organised crime.
'His involvement in serious offending, including gang related violence, is relevant to risk in this case.
'The panel considered his impulsivity, poor decision making and his difficulties in coping with problems to be further areas of risk.'
There was no support for Mr Nee’s release in the reports.
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