Viktorija Sokolova: West Park murder trial hears how trainers helped police hunt suspect

A pair of trainers gave police a breakthrough in the hunt for the person who raped and murdered 14-year-old Viktorija Sokolova, a jury heard.

Ballons left in tribute to West Park murder victim Viktorija Sokolova
Ballons left in tribute to West Park murder victim Viktorija Sokolova

An infrared CCTV camera filmed a young man walking towards Wolverhampton's West Park where the victim had arranged to meet a 16-year-old Facebook friend at the 'black house' pavilion.

The person was pictured shortly after the pair concluded an exchange of internet messages with him saying he had left his house and her replying she was setting out for the rendezvous, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

The individual was wearing distinctive Adidas trainers which were identified by a brand protection manager from the company as Adidas Gazelle.

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These matched trainers worn by the 16-year-old defendant in photos on his Facebook account, said Mr Jonathan Rees QC, prosecuting.

There were footwear marks made in the blood that police found in the 'black house' after the body of Viktorija had been found draped semi naked over a bench not far away from the pavilion the following morning, the court heard.

Viktorija was aged 14 when she died

The sole of the shoe made a distinctive hexagonal lattice pattern, revealed Mr Rees who continued: "One of these marks, made in blood, was underneath one of the drag marks, indicating that the wearer of this footwear was likely to have been involved in the movement of the body."

The prosecution maintained that the drag marks appeared to lead from the shelter in the general direction of the bench where the body was subsequently found which was around 150 metres away.

Photographs of the marks on the floor of the pavilion were shown to the expert from Adidas who said the pattern was consistent with having been made by an Adidas Gazelle trainer - the style the prosecution allege the defendant was wearing on the night Viktorija died.

Forensic officers examine the pavilion in West Park

She was last seen alive on CCTV heading for the park at 10.47pm on April 11.

Her body was discovered by dog walker Daniel Squire just before 7am the following morning. Initially he thought it was a blow-up doll but when he returned to the scene realised to his horror that it was a young girl.

The defendant, who cannot be identified because of his age, pleads not guilty to the murder and rape of Viktorija.

He also denies sexual penetration of a corpse.

The trial continues.

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