The killer of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel has lost the first step of a bid to appeal against his prison sentence.
Thomas Cashman, 34, was jailed for life for shooting Olivia dead at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, on August 22 last year.
His application for permission to challenge his 42-year minimum term has been rejected by a judge without a hearing, Court of Appeal staff confirmed on Wednesday.
Cashman is still able to renew his bid for permission to appeal at a full court hearing.
The shooting of Olivia occurred as Cashman was chasing convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee, who tried to run into the little girl’s home in a bid to escape.
Cashman opened fire, hitting Olivia’s mother Cheryl Korbel in the wrist as she tried to keep the door shut on Nee, with the same bullet killing her daughter.
In May, Solicitor General Michael Tomlinson KC said Cashman, a high-level Liverpool drug dealer, would not have his jail term increased.
It came after a number of requests were made for the father-of-two’s prison time to be lengthened via the unduly lenient sentence scheme.
Mr Tomlinson said that Olivia’s “senseless murder” had “shocked and sickened the nation”, but added: “Having received detailed legal advice and considered the issues raised very carefully, I have concluded Cashman’s case cannot properly be referred to the Court of Appeal”.