- Viktorija Sokolova, 14, of Wolverhampton found raped and murdered in a park
- Schoolgirl, originally from Lithuania, died from a blunt force trauma to the head
- Items recovered from park by police included three of her teeth, a court heard
- A 16-year-old is accused of bludgeoning her with a hammer at least 21 times
- They deny charges of murder, rape and sexually penetrating her dead body
A 14-year-old schoolgirl found raped and murdered in a park was hit with a hammer-like weapon so hard that some of her teeth fell out, a court has heard.
Viktorija Sokolova was found by a passer-by after she was attacked in West Park, Wolverhampton, on April 12.
A post-mortem examination concluded that Miss Sokolova, originally from Lithuania, died from a blunt force trauma to the head.
Items recovered from the park by police included a tooth from Viktorija found under a park bench, a piece of broken tooth from the floor of the pavilion and another tooth found under a bench at the back of the pavilion, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard yesterday.
Louise Oakley, prosecuting, said: ‘A post-mortem examination of the two teeth found and the tooth fragment concluded they were Viktorija’s teeth. It was a left upper and lower canine and half an incisor.
‘Experts concluded these had been knocked out her mouth by a violent, heavy blow or contact with a hard surface. Six other teeth were chipped.’
The court has heard that a 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, murdered and raped Miss Sokolova before having sex with her lifeless body.
Miss Sokolova had been in contact with the accused via Facebook before her death, the court also heard.
But she had promised her parents she was not going to converse with ‘stupid’ people while she was living in Ireland two months before her death.
The court heard she had been battered to the head, knocking out three teeth, and her clothes were bloodsoaked when they were found in the park by police officers.
Louise Oakley, prosecuting, said: ‘Viktorija Sokolova was 14 years old at the time of her death.
‘At 8.46pm on February 15 when she was in Ireland she send the following message to Saidas Valantinas, her step-father.
‘She said ‘Dad, I would like to apologise for everything I did in Wolverhampton. I promise not to converse with the stupid company and not to behave the way I behaved when I was living at yours. Please forgive me, good night.”
‘On April 6 she sent a message to her mother Karolina saying ‘I’m staying overnight at my friend’s – I’m safe today. Tell coppers not to look for me as I’m safe. X’.’
Ms Oakley said analysis of her Facebook account showed she had been in contact with the 16-year-old accused of her rape and murder prior to her death.
Ms Oakley said: ‘On April 12, a paramedic recovered items from the bench where Miss Sokolova was found.
‘These were a cigarette lighter, a piece of Rizla, a key to her home address, and a letter from the City of Wolverhampton Council – a medical consent form relating to a bruise being examined on her leg.
‘Items recovered from West Park by police included a tooth from Viktorija found under a park bench, a piece of broken tooth from the floor of the pavilion and another tooth found under a bench at the back of the pavilion.
‘Also found was a hooped earring on a bench inside the pavilion and a second hooped earring on the floor of the pavilion.
‘A Nike baseball cap, which was white but heavily bloodstained, was found in a pool of blood on the floor of the pavilion.
‘Also found was Viktorija’s black and silver Vodafone mobile phone from the island in the boating lake
‘Police seized a a pair of light pink ankle boots from the edge of the lake. A pair of white jeans – heavily bloodstained – were found inside a litter bin. Inside the jeans were a pair of black knickers.
‘A post-mortem examination of the two teeth found and the tooth fragment concluded they were Viktorija’s teeth. It was a left upper and lower canine and half an incisor.
‘Experts concluded these had been knocked out her mouth by a violent, heavy blow or contact with a hard surface. Six other teeth were chipped.
‘Toxicology showed a low concentration of alcohol in her blood. None was present in her urine. Alcohol can arise in the body after death.
‘The results indicate that Viktorija would not have been intoxicated through alcohol or any [other drug] at the time she died.
‘She had not consumed cannabis shortly before her death. [The defendant] was 16 years old on April 12.
‘Just after midnight on April 13, he was arrested at home on suspicion of the murder of Viktorija. Information suggests he had contact with Viktorija just before her death.
‘He said he had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and had come under the care of Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). He was home-schooled for the previous 12 months.
‘In his first interview on April 12 [before he was arrested], he was cautioned and provided a statement.
‘He said ‘I know nothing about the murder – I heard about it on the news. I have known the injured person since last year.
”The injured person sent me a friend request on Facebook last year which I accepted. We talked occasionally.
”Because the injured person started coming to my house at night I got annoyed so broke off with the messaging and haven’t seen her since. My Facebook was hacked last year’.
‘Later, he was talking very quietly and mumbling at the custody desk.
‘He asked if the police had taken the DNA. He said she was his friend and he had been framed. On April 18, his home was searched.
‘Police found a black and silver Huawei phone, a rose-gold iPhone, an Adidas jacket and a black man bag.
‘On the rose-gold iPhone, several SMS messages and Facebook messenger calls were found but no Facebook messenger messages. These had been deleted.
‘Records of calls made to Viktorija’s phone had been deleted, as had the history of searches relating to anal sex.’
The court had previously heard the DNA of Mr Valantinas, Viktorija’s step-father, had been found in her underwear.
But yesterday, her parents angrily dismissed the defence’s notion they had anything to do with Viktorija’s killing.
Yesterday, the court heard evidence Mr Valantinas was at home for the period when Viktorija was killed.
Ms Oakley said: ‘Saidas said that on the morning she was found, he made his way to work on a farm in the Shrewsbury, Shrops., area.
‘His black Ford Focus was picked up by cameras on the A5 between Shrewsbury and Telford that morning, and after 3pm coming back.’
Detective constable Louise Dawber of West Midlands Police’s homicide investigation team said cameras on Saidas’ road – Mostyn Street, Wolverhampton, – picked him up returning from work at 5.36pm on April 11, the night before Viktorija’s death.
‘He was next seen leaving the street at 5.21am the following morning – two hours before Viktorija’s body was found in West Park.’
The 16-year-old denies charges of murder, rape and sexually penetrating her body.
The trial, which is expected to last at least another week, will continue on December 10 at 10.30am.