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Viktorija Sokolova death: Boy used 'horrific' levels of violence to kill 14-year-old girl in park, court hears

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A teenager used “horrific” levels of violence to rape and murder a 14-year-old girl in a park, a court has heard.

The 16-year-old youth is alleged to have used a hammer-like weapon to fracture Viktorija Sokolova’s skull in a pavilion known as the “black house”, before sexually abusing her dead body.

A jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court was told the boy, who cannot be named because of his age, had used Facebook’s messaging service to arrange to meet Viktorija in the city’s West Park.

Opening the case against the youth – who denies murder, rape and sexual penetration of a corpse – prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said Viktorija’s body was found by a dog-walker at about 7am on April 12.

A tribute is left at West Park, Wolverhampton, where the body of Viktorija was found (Josh Payne/PA)

Mr Rees told the jury of eight women and four men: “As he walked into the heart of the park, he saw what he initially thought was a blow-up doll resting on a park bench.

“At first, he dismissed it as some sort of prank and continued with his walk.

“However, on returning to the same area, he realised, no doubt to his horror, that the figure was the body of a young girl.”

The court was told that the top half of Viktorija’s body was found “draped” over the arm of the bench.

Police at the scene after the body was found in West Park, Wolverhampton (PA)

Describing her injuries, Mr Rees said: “The post-mortem examination of her body revealed that she had been subjected to a sustained and ferocious attack to the head, which involved a minimum of 21 blows.

“The force of the attack was such that it caused multiple fractures of the underlying skullcap and her facial skeleton.

“In short, to put it into lay-person’s terms, her head had been smashed in.”

Alleging that the defendant had dragged his victim’s body around 150m to the bench, Mr Rees said: “The evidence indicates that Viktorija had died before she ended up being positioned over the park bench in the way that I have described.

Police at the scene after the girl’s body was found in West Park, Wolverhampton (PA)

“Whatever the nature of the sexual activity, the prosecution say that this is a case of murder, in that the evidence establishes that it was the defendant who carried out the fatal attack, and at the time he did so, he intended either to kill Viktorija or to cause her really serious bodily injury.”

Jurors were told that the boy accepts meeting Viktorija in the park, where he claims consensual sexual activity took place.

Mr Rees said: “We understand it is his case that Viktorija was alive and well when he parted from her in the park in order to go home.

“It follows therefore, on his case, that someone else, or some other people, must have come along after he left and were responsible for attacking her and stripping her, before leaving her partially naked over the bench.”

Police at the scene after the girl’s body was found in West Park, Wolverhampton (PA)

The trial, which is expected to last for two weeks, was told that Viktorija had a turbulent relationship with her parents, who struggled to control her.

In the months before her death, she had been reported to police as a missing person after spending nights away from home, staying at friends’ homes.

Jurors were told she exchanged several Facebook messages with the defendant in the hours before her death, eventually arranging to go alone to meet him.

Shortly before she left a friend’s house at 10.40pm to walk to the park, Viktorija had refused a lift home, the court heard.

Mr Rees said the jury would be shown CCTV evidence suggesting the boy was carrying a backpack, and changed his trousers, while in the park between 10.44pm on April 11 and 12.44am on April 12.

The defendant is then alleged to have walked home, before deleting the Facebook messages and disposing of a bag.

The trial continues.

Reporting by Press Association.

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