1. ITV Report

Boy, 17, detained for at least 19 years for hammer murder of schoolgirl

Viktorija Sokolova, whose body was discovered in Wolverhampton’s West Park, on April 11 2018 Credit: PA

A 17-year-old boy has been detained for at least 19 years for the brutal rape and murder of a teenage girl.

The youth used horrific levels of violence to kill his 14-year-old victim before dumping her body on a park bench in Wolverhampton.

He denied any wrongdoing during a three-week trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court, but was unanimously convicted by a jury on December 14 last year over the attack on Viktorija Sokolova.

At the same court on Friday, he was sentenced to life and ordered to serve a minimum term of 19 years.

A tribute in West Park to 14-year-old Viktorija Sokolova. Credit: PA

Detectives believe the boy used a hammer, which has never been found, to launch what prosecutors called a “ferocious and sustained” attack on the victim, who suffered a fractured skull and spine.

Jurors heard that Lithuanian-born Viktorija was lured to West Park late on April 11 last year after being contacted by her killer on Facebook Messenger.

Following the killing, the youth was caught on CCTV as he attempted to cover up the offence by hiding clothing, having deleted Facebook messages and hurled his victim’s phone towards a lake.

Viktorija’s mother, Karolina Valantiniene, attended court for the sentencing Credit: PA

The boy – who refused to give evidence, claiming to be suffering from learning difficulties – initially denied even meeting Viktorija.