Teenager, 16, is convicted of rape and murder of Viktorija Sokolova

First picture: Violent porn obsessed teenager, 16, known to mental health services who has been convicted of rape and murder after smashing in 14-year-old schoolgirl’s head with a hammer

  • Viktorija Sokolova’s body was found slumped over park bench in Wolverhampton
  • 14-year-old had been hit so hard on the back of her head it fractured her spine
  • Teenager repeatedly beaten over head with a hammer, knocking out three teeth 
  • 16-year-old killer cannot be named – judge will consider whether to identify him
  • He was obsessed with extreme porn and violent sex, Googling it before murder 
  • Police first as fingerprint on his smartphone was used to link him to the killing
  • Heartbroken parents say: ‘We were a family, now there are only two of us’ 

This is the first picture of an extreme porn-obsessed teenage killer walking to the park where he would spend two hours raping and beating to death a vulnerable 14-year-old girl. 

Viktorija Sokolova’s brutalised body was found half naked on a park bench in Wolverhampton on April 12 after she secretly sneaked out to meet the 16-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age.

The dog walker who found Viktorija’s battered and bruised body initially believed she was an abandoned blow-up doll. 

Her killer, who was known to social services and NHS mental health workers, had raped her then bludgeoned her 21 times with a hammer, shattering her skull, teeth and breaking her spine in two. 

After she died it was alleged he had sex with her body, but a not guilty verdict was ordered by the judge.  

Police also seized mobile phones from the killers’ home used to watch extreme pornography and violent sex with submissive girls with similar searches carried out before he murdered Viktorija.

Viktorija Sokolova (right) was lured to a park before she was raped and beaten to death by a 16-year-old boy found guilty of her murder today, who is shown in CCTV for the first time today (left)

The teenager, who cannot be named, was known to social services and mental health workers, refused to give evidence because of learning difficulties but went to great lengths to dispose of forensic evidence including the blood soaked Adidas Gazelle trainers he wore (pictured) 

Viktorija’s mother Karolina Valatiniene and stepfather Saidas Valantinas pictured outside Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday after defence barristers accused them of being responsible for her murder

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Today Viktorija’s mother Karolina Valantiniene and step-father Saidas Valantinas told of their anguish after the 16-year-old youth was convicted of murder.

How ‘forensically aware’ killer hid weapon and his blood-stained Adidas shoes – but later told police he had learning difficulties

Viktorija Sokolova’s killer attempted to hide or destroy all trace of his contact with the schoolgirl before her body was found – but claimed learning difficulties meant he was unable to give evidence.

The hammer-like weapon used to batter the schoolgirl to death and the trainers and clothing worn by the youth who killed her have never been found.

CCTV recovered by police showed the youth carrying a backpack – which has never been recovered – away from his home, less than an hour after he left West Park.

Detective Inspector Caroline Corfield, who led the murder inquiry, says Viktorija’s murderer was clearly forensically aware and decided to dispose of bloodstained clothing, including a pair of Adidas Gazelle training shoes.

As well as deleting Facebook Messenger contacts which linked him to Viktorija, the youth attempted to hide his mobile phone, having used it to urge her to attend the park alone. 

‘He didn’t give evidence in court. So, we were never able to ask him what happened to the Adidas trainers, what happened to the clothing. Why did you hide your iPhone behind a wardrobe?

‘We know what the answers are to those questions and he didn’t want to face the questions.’  

In a statement released by police, the couple said: ‘We were a family, now there are only two of us.

‘Viktorija will never be replaced and will always be missed dearly. She will remain in our hearts forever.

‘We will never be given the opportunity to have grandchildren because this has been taken from us.’ 

The teenage murderer, who was born in Holland to parents from Iraq, had been home schooled in Wolverhampton for the past year because of difficulties in class.

He later blamed learning problems for not giving evidence during his trial – where police described his sophisticated to dispose of evidence linking him to the murder.

The boy cannot be named because of his age – but journalists have appealed to the judge to scrap the order protecting his identity. 

He had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and was under the care of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Wolverhampton at the time of the murder. 

The boy lured Viktorija to the park under the pretext they would ‘chill out together’ before launching a murderous assault lasting two hours. 

He stripped, raped and beat Viktorija before smashing her head 21 times with a hammer-like weapon until he knocked out three of her teeth and chipped a further six. 

He beat her with such force over the back of the skull it ‘snapped her spine in two’ and left her broken body in Wolverhampton’s West Park. 

The boy, who faces an automatic life sentence, was remanded in custody until February 22 after the judge ordered a pre-sentence report. 

High Court judge Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said of the defendant: ‘He is still young, 16 years of age.

‘I am obviously concerned as to the extreme nature of the offences in this case and therefore it seems to me that the court ought to be properly informed about all of the background.’ 

Detectives notched up what is thought to be a legal first while bringing Viktorija Sokolova’s killer to justice – by ‘lifting’ a fingerprint from a mobile phone video.

Officers investigating the killing spotted a recognisable print in a film showing Viktorija’s murderer scrolling through his iPhone for passwords as he prepared to delete evidence linking him to the schoolgirl.

The footage did not show the boy’s face, meaning a fingerprint was the only means of proving he was using the phone. 

Jason Corden-Bowen, from the CPS, said: ‘Viktorija Sokolova was a young girl with her whole future ahead of her but her life was cut short by this defendant who murdered her in an apparently motiveless and brutal attack.

‘The defendant denied the offences but the CPS presented evidence to the jury, including forensic evidence, which proved he was responsible.

‘I would like to express my sympathy to Viktorija’s family and loved ones’.

Viktorija was the victim of a murder and sex attack which have shocked the city and her last moments captured on CCTV were released last night (pictured)

The youngster uploaded this picture to her Facebook page, the last photo she posted, two months before she was murdered – but her killer refused to admit it at his trial, which was attended every day by her mother Karolina (pictured yesterd)

Viktorija, who was subjected to ‘horrific levels of violence’, had abrasions on her chest and abdomen suggesting she had been dragged across the park and propped up against the bench where she was found.

The troubled life of murdered teenager who told police: ‘I don’t want to be at home’

Viktorija Sokolova was known to social services because she kept running away from home and said she ‘didn’t want to be there’ having disappeared for a week.

Three days before ‘Tori’ died she had told a police officer that her home life was ‘not that good’.

PC Neil McDonald interviewed the teenager when she was arrested for stealing her step father’s bank card and using it to withdraw £250.

The Lithuanian-born teenager said she needed to buy casual clothes like jeans because her mother had burned them

And Viktorija, who had £76 of the stolen money left when detained, also told the officer that her mother had ‘beaten her up’ after the theft.

Describing what happened her mother told the court: ‘I was holding her with both my arms – I put her on the ground and pressed her down with my knee I told her to calm down.

‘She told me she was calm so I let her up and then she started shouting again and scratching. 

‘My intention was to bring her home’.

To stop her going missing her mother and step father had imposed a curfew and installed an alarm at their house.

They also  destroyed her sim card when they found out she was sexually active.

Viktorija had said she preferred staying with friends and at one point was sent to live with her biological father in Northern Ireland but it ‘didn’t work out’.

She also briefly stayed at a children’s home before returning to her mother’s home. 

Her stepfather was forced to deny he was involved in her death when traces of his semen were found in her underwear.

He told the trial: ‘She was my daughter, I would never hurt her’. 

Asked if he sexually assaulted Viktorija he said:  ‘This is nonsense – I completely deny this’ and when asked if he killed Viktorija.

‘I told you already you are talking nonsense’.

He added: ‘The social workers told us there are no bad children only bad parents.

‘We were disappointed because we wanted to make sure she was safe’.

A 13-year-old friend of Viktorija told officers how the teenager had planned to move to London the day after she was killed.

When he was arrested two days after the murder he handed police a prepared statement reading: ‘Know nothing about the murder. Only heard about it on news.’

In an extraordinary trial her defence team later tried to blame her death on her mother Karolina Valantinas and step-father Saidas, after traces of his semen were found on her knickers.

But police never arrested Mr Valantinas because the DNA levels were ‘microscopic’ and could have been transferred innocently.

And the prosecution told the court: ‘Even if you suspect this came from non-innocent contamination, in light of all the evidence in this case, would this provide any evidence for the defence theory that her step-father found her in the park, sexually assaulted her and killed her?’  

The boy told officers he had been introduced to Vicktorija last year by two other girls. 

He had denied rape, murder and sexual penetration of a corpse.

The jury heard Viktorija moved to the UK from Lithuania in 2011 and was living with her family in Wolverhampton.

The prosecutor said she had a ‘turbulent relationship’ with her parents and social services were aware she often disappeared from home. 

The youngster, known to friends as Tori, was reported missing by her family before she was found in the park the following morning.  

The defendant had sent Viktorija a video of himself, bare-chested, lifting weights.

He pursued her for eight days before her death, repeatedly asking her to meet him in the park near their homes. 

Viktorija made her way to the park at 10.40pm to meet the 16-year-old following a chat on Facebook messenger.  

A post-mortem examination concluded she died from a blunt force trauma to the head, which killed her over the space of one hour.

Viktorija’s white jeans and bloodstained underwear, as well as a sock, were found dumped in a litter bin near the boating lake. 

Her mobile phone had been hurled onto an island on the lake, adjacent to a pavilion in which she was raped and beaten.

After dragging her to a bench, her killer removed Viktorija’s pink ankle boots ‘which would have made it easier to pull off her jeans and knickers completely,’ the prosecutor said. 

Viktorija’s mother Karolina Valantiniene and stepfather Saidas Valantinas have since spoken out against her killer’s defence barristers, who accused them of being responsible for her murder. 

Police added that they never considered Saidas Valantinas a murder suspect, despite his semen being found on her underwear – because the sample was ‘microscopic’ and could have been transferred innocently from clothing to clothing in a washing machine.

Factory worker Karolina and her husband Saidas both called the suggestion that they had been involved ‘nonsense’.

Mr Valantinas told the court: ‘In this trial, a lot of dirt has been spilled out.

‘[The defence lawyer] said in a direct way that I had raped her and I killed her.  The defence were being quite rude.’

Viktorija’s natural father lives in Ireland and is not implicated in the court case. 

The Lithuanian-born youngster, who was known as Tori, was reported missing by her family before she was found by a dog walker who initially thought her body was a blow-up doll

Viktorija Sokolova’s body was found half naked slumped over a bench in West Park in Wolverhampton

A post-mortem examination concluded that Miss Sokolova, originally from Lithuania, died from a blunt force trauma to the head. 

Detective Inspector Caroline Corfield, of West Midlands Police’s Homicide Team, said: ‘The sustained nature of the violent attack on a 14-year-old girl is inexplicable.

‘Viktorija was only 14-year-old when she was murdered by her killer who she thought was her friend.

‘They knew each other but they hadn’t had contact for a few months.

‘Then eight days before Viktorija’s murder, he contacted her using Facebook Messenger.

‘She commented herself on the unusual nature of this sudden contact, not having spoken to him in a long time.

Timeline: How teenager was lured to park and bludgeoned to death

April 3: Killer asks Viktorija to meet him so they can ‘smoke weed’ in West Park. He said he was leaving for London in a week’s time and wanted to chill with her before he went. Before this, they had not spoken in months. 

Viktorija said she was not allowed out at night time.

April 5: He again asks her to meet him. He writes: ‘Vicky, I know we haven’t talked in a while but I’m never gonna see you, I just wanna chill with you for memories’.

April 9: Viktorija was arrested by the police on suspicion of stealing her step-father’s bank card and using it to withdraw £250. She told police she had used some of the money to buy clothes, and alleged that her mother had assaulted her in the park after she had found out. After spending a few hours in custody, Viktorija was released later that day.

April 11, 10.52am: Viktorija contacted the boy on Facebook and agreed to meet him that day.

11.30am: She met with two friends, both aged 13, and they spent the afternoon using their phones to exchange messages with friends. It was the first time they had seen Viktorija with a phone. The friends said she did not have a sim card but could use Facebook Messenger when she had wi-fi. 

10pm: One of the friends made her way home and the other told Viktorija that it was time for her to go home. Viktorija asked to stay a little longer because she was planning to meet the ‘guy’ known as Lazy Cho at midnight. 

10.40pm: Just before Viktorija left, her friend told her that it was a bad idea to go the park to which she replied, ‘Well, he’s only my mate’. The girls hugged and Viktorija left.  

10.35pm: Viktorija and the boy arranged to meet in the ‘black house’ pavilion at the park. At 10:35pm, he told her he had left his house.

10.42pm: CCTV records Viktorija arriving at the park. 

10.37pm: CCTV picks up the defendant arriving at the scene    

00.44am: CCTV spots the boy still in a hooded jacket, Adidas trainers and carrying a backpack but wearing different coloured trousers. 

Defendant’s iPhone was switched off at 11.32pm and remained disconnected until 1.27am the following morning. 

1:35am: Two figures recorded walking a short distance from the defendant’s home, carrying a backpack. They retrace their steps about an hour later. The backpack is missing.

April 12, 7am: Daniel Squire left his house to walk his dog in West Park, Wolverhampton.   

He dismissed Viktorija’s body ‘as some sort of prank and continued with his walk.’ On returning to the same area, he realised it was the body of a young girl and phoned 999. 

‘He was suggesting they leave for London together.

‘Over the course of those eight days, he made a very concerted effort to meet her specifically in West Park at night in the ‘Black House’.’

The detective added: ‘The dog walker] was faced with the horrific scene of Viktorija’s half-naked body bent forwards on a park bench.

‘He initially thought it was a prank. He told the court that he thought it was a blow-up doll.

‘Having been to the scene myself, I can understand why that would be your first reaction because it’s a scene that’s almost impossible to comprehend.

‘The position of the body suggested there was almost certainly a sexual motive to this attack.

‘We found that she had had this contact with her killer immediately before her murder, and the detail of that contact – arranging very specifically to meet her in the Black House in West Park.

‘Some 150 metres from where Viktorija’s body was found is this black wooden shelter and it is clear that that was the main scene of Viktorija’s attack.

‘It was heavily bloodstained. Viktorija’s earrings were found there and the white baseball cap she had been wearing, which was bloodstained.

‘The attack was so violent we found three of her teeth.

‘To this day, I cannot see any explanation for that level of violence.

‘It’s unnecessary, it’s incomprehensible. She was a 14-year-old girl.

‘The reason he was also charged with rape is that we recovered DNA from in and on Viktorija’s body that proved that her killer had had sex with her.

‘If that had been consensual, there is no explanation for Viktorija’s murder.

‘If that had been consensual, then why did Viktorija not leave that park alive?

‘Her killer then proceeded to erase all trace of his contact with her that night – and this is before her body is even found.

‘Her mobile phone was recovered on a small island in the duck pond near to the pavilion.

‘So he had thrown it, I believe, intending for it to go into the water but it actually landed on dry land.

‘Why would her killer want to dispose of her mobile phone unless that was evidence linking the killer to her? 

‘The clothing that he was wearing on CCTV heading to the park was very significant because we were able to identify the trainers he was wearing as Adidas Gazelles.

‘He wore them to and from the park.

‘There were footprints in Viktorija’s blood in the pavilion, and the tread pattern of those footwear impressions matches the sole pattern that you get with Adidas Gazelles.

‘We’ve never found those trainers and there’s a very good explanation for that.

‘We pick the defendant up on CCTV at 1.30am – so after he had returned home from the park – and he leaves his home address again.

‘He is wearing different clothing and footwear and he is carrying a rucksack.

‘He returns home an hour later – the rucksack has gone.’

Police said the killer made a very concerted effort to meet her specifically in West Park at night

A dog walker alerted police when he realised he had found Viktorija’s body propped up on the bench

The 14-year-old posted this picture of herself with her mother on Facebook 

The detective said the killer disposed of his clothes which would have been bloodstained, and they have never been found since. 

Step-father forced to deny he abused murder victim after his DNA was found in her pants 

Viktorija’s step-father denied having sexual contact with her after his semen was found on her knickers the night she died.

Saidas Valentinas’ DNA was found on Viktorija Sokolova’s underwear and on the inside of the white jeans that were removed from her on April 12, this year.

Appearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court he denied any sexual activity with the teen or her underwear. 

Forensic scientist Lorna Fergus said in evidence that the odds of the DNA belonging to anybody other than Saidas Valentinas had been worked out by a computer to be one in a billion.

She added: ‘These were only trace levels of semen. It could have come from recent or historical sexual activity or innocent transfer.

‘He and Viktorija shared a house as well as a laundry basket and washing machine.’

The defence in her murder trial suggested the killer had consensual sex with the victim and then her step-father abused her and killed her, which Saidas Valentinas called nonsense.

And the prosecution told the court: ‘Even if you suspect this came from non-innocent contamination, in light of all the evidence in this case, would this provide any evidence for the defence theory that her step-father found her in the park, sexually assaulted her and killed her?’ 

‘He didn’t give evidence in court so we were never able to ask him ‘what happened to your Adidas trainers? What happened to the clothing you were wearing that night? Why did you delete your Facebook Messenger contact? Why did you hide your iPhone behind a wardrobe in the bedroom?’.

‘We know what the answers to those questions are, and he didn’t want to face the questions.

‘It’s a possibility the weapon he used was in the bag as well.  It was suggested by the pathologist that it would be something similar to a hammer, or a hammer-type weapon. 

‘Very soon after making the initial contact with Viktorija, eight days before her murder, her killer searched the internet for sites involving anal sex.

‘Specifically, forums talking about what anal sex feels like. 

‘Yet at no point in any of the messages between him and Viktorija did he suggest that his intention was to have sex with her.

‘The question wasn’t asked, it wasn’t suggested. In fact, he was very specific that he wanted to meet her to hang out with her and smoke cannabis.

‘Yet the CCTV suggested he was in the park with her for two hours. There wasn’t a trace of cannabis in Viktorija’s body.’

The detective said the boy did not have a history of violence, and spoke about the impact on Viktorija’s family. 

He said: ‘It’s impossible to imagine what it is like to learn of a murder of your child – then to hear the horrific details of that murder, which are inescapable because they have to be presented in court.

‘In this particular case, the defence pointed the finger very specifically at Viktorija’s parents.

‘They were asked in court whether they had murdered Viktorija. ‘

He added her parents were never charged nor under investigation. 

Forensic investigators in the park where the 14-year-old’s body was found slumped over a bench

Murdered schoolgirl’s mother reveals her agony at the moment her killer’s lawyer claimed her partner had raped and killed the 14-year-old 

Karolina Valantiniene arriving at the trial of the 16-year-old boy who killed her daughter

Viktorija Sokolova’s mother Karolina Valantiniene and stepfather Saidas Valantinas paid tribute to the teenager in court.

Ms Valantiniene and Viktorija’s step-father Saidas Valantinas also spoke out against the killer’s defence barristers, who accused them of being responsible for the savage murder.

Factory worker Karolina and her husband Saidas, who was Viktorija’s stepfather, both called the suggestion, by a defence barrister, that they had been involved ‘nonsense’.

Mr Valantinas’ semen was found on the underwear Viktorija had been wearing when she was beaten to death. 

But police discarded the DNA because it was ‘microscopic’ and did not implicate him in her murder, nor did it suggest he’d had sex with his stepdaughter.

Karolina said: ‘Viktorija was like most children. She was a bright and happy girl who loved life and had lots of friends. 

‘I think for every parent it is difficult to understand when a child does not come back home at night.

‘I’ve thought about this a lot, and had I had a hunch that something terrible like that was going to happen, I would have gone myself to the park that night.

‘A ‘nightmare’ is probably the best description [of what it was like to find out she had been murdered].

‘We never thought that such a day would come to our lives.

‘[With the trial], we are having to go through the same nightmare once again. 

‘It is quite a humiliating feeling [to be in the same room as the boy who killed my daughter].

‘I have never managed to see his eyes – maybe because of him feeling ashamed – as he won’t look up.   

‘I hope there are no people on earth like this particular defendant.

‘It is beyond comprehension that something like this has happened to us.

‘I keep asking God – why and for what did this happen to us?

It emerged in court how Viktorija was subjected to ‘horrific levels of violence’ in the moments leading up to her death

‘We are trying our best to get back to life no matter how difficult it is.

‘We understand we cannot change anything any more. 

‘Viktorija was a very brave girl. She had a lot of friends who loved her. 

‘She did not manage to reach and live her adult life.

‘We as parents should go through life together with them, waiting for them to grow up and for us to grow old and have our grandchildren.

‘This is never going to happen.  

Saidas said: ‘Viktorija was full of fun. She was full of energy. She wanted to do everything.

‘[On the night she went to the park in April] I was waiting until about midnight for her to come back – but she didn’t.

‘I wanted to go and look for her but because I had to go to work quite early, I decided it was not worth carrying on waiting for her.

‘In the morning, because Viktorija had been too long back and I had been waiting for her, I left home in a really low mood.

‘When I received a phone call from my wife and she said a body of a girl had been found, I couldn’t believe it.

‘I thought that must be a mistake, because mistakes sometimes happen.

‘I was hoping for it to be a mistake. 

‘[The killer’s and my] eyes never met.

‘I don’t know what one is supposed to think about the person who did that.

‘[I feel] anger – nothing else.

‘I think people like him should be kept in isolation.

‘One day he might want one thing, another day he might want a different thing. It can’t go on like that.

‘All I can say is that people can carry on gossiping around all they like, but I really love my daughter and I’m really proud of her.

‘She’s a very brave girl and she would have succeeded in life if she was still alive.’ 

‘Sneaking out to meet the boy who killed her’: Chilling CCTV shows final moments of schoolgirl, 14, ‘brutally raped and murdered by teenager, 16, before he had sex with her corpse’

Chilling CCTV footage captures the final moments of a schoolgirl as she walks towards a park where she was raped and murdered.

Viktorija Sokolova, 14, sneaked out of her house to meet a boy she has been exchanging Facebook messages with on April 11 this year.

The following morning her half-naked body was discovered by a dog walker propped up against a bench in West Park, Wolverhampton.

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified because of his age, has gone on trial charged with murder and rape at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Earlier that day, the teenager had been seen out and about with friends at a local supermarket 

Viktorija was the victim of a murder and sex attack which have shocked the city

CCTV shown during the trial can be published for this first time, showing the victim walking to the park minutes before her death.

She can be seen in other footage, also shown to the jury during the trial, meeting with her friends at a Sainsbury’s supermarket earlier in the day.

Viktorija had been brutally beaten when she was found by a dog walker the following morning.

The trial heard she had been struck at least 21 times with a hammer or hammer-type weapon, dragged 150 metres across the park and had her spine was ‘snapped’.

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