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West Park murder trial: Dog walker thought body was 'blow-up doll prank'

By John Scott | Wolverhampton | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

A man described to a jury how he found the body of 14-year-old murder victim Viktorija Sokolova in Wolverhampton’s West Park.

The body of Viktorija Sokolova, inset, was found by a dog walker in Wolverhampton's West Park

Daniel Squire said in a statement read to the city’s crown court by Ms Louise Oakley, prosecuting, that he was on his normal morning walk with the family dog when he stumbled on the gruesome scene at around 7am on April 12.

He explained: “As I approached a circular area with numerous benches I saw what appeared to be a body.

“I was aware there had been a fun fair in the park and believed somebody had set up a prank and it was a blow-up doll.

“I walked away to the left and took a path that took me back to the circle. The body was on a bench near-by.

“It was definitely a deceased body. She was lying with her torso on the seat of the bench.”

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The victim had no clothes on the bottom of her body with her top pushed up to cover her face and exposed her right breast, the court heard.

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Mr Squire continued: “Apart from some mud and a bruise on her leg I was no other injuries.

“I rang the police. The closest I came to the body was four metres. I could see she was dead.”

He had explained that he had not wanted to interfere with the scene of the crime.

Forensic teams cordon off an area surrounding the 'black house' pavilion in the park

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Pc Louise Goodman, the first police officer to respond to his call explained she was closely followed by two other constables and confirmed: “The female had no clothing on the bottom of her body and I could not see any of her missing clothing.

“She was faced down on the bench and there appeared to be a small pool of blood on the ground.”

She said in her written statement that it then started to rain heavily and a silver blanket was placed over the bench to protect the scene of the crime from the downpour.

The black-coloured wooden pavilion which had been known as a popular meeting point in West Park

Another officer said he saw drag marks across the ground indicating that the body could have been pulled there from the direction of the ‘black house’ – wooden pavilion at the park – where Viktorija had arranged to meet a 16-year-old Facebook friend late the previous evening.

The prosecution claimed he bludgeoned her to death with more than 20 blows – some delivered with a hammer like weapon – before the body was pulled to the bench around 150 metres away.

The 16-year-old defendant, who cannot be identified because of his age, denies murder, rape and having sex with a corpse.

The case continues.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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