Face of a killer: West Park murderer Ayman Aziz finally unmasked
This is the face of the terrifying teenager whose savage rape and murder of 14-year-old Viktorija Sokolova in Wolverhampton's West Park shocked the nation.
He is 17-year-old Ayman Aziz who lived two streets away from the victim and was ordered to spend at least 19 years of a life sentence behind bars in February, two months after being unanimously convicted of the horrifying crime.
Aziz could not be identified in reports at the time as reporting restrictions because of his age were imposed.
The trial judge agreed to lift those restrictions following an application by the Express & Star and other media organisations, but the teenager's lawyers challenged that decision and the restrictions remained in place pending an appeal.
- Express & Star comment: Naming murderer was right decision
The reporting restrictions have now been dropped after the application was dismissed at the Court of Appeal today.
More than 20 blows
The victim, known as Tori, was mercilessly bludgeoned to death after being lured to a late-night rendezvous at the park's wooden pavilion, nicknamed the 'black house.'
Blood staining in the building showed she frantically tried to dodge a blitz of more than 20 blows that continued to rain down on her after she was clubbed to the ground on April 11 last year.
WATCH: CCTV shows Aziz on night of murder
Included in this footage are three clips of Aziz on the night of the murder.
- After 25 seconds of the video, Aziz is shown discarding a cigarette on his way to West Park
- After 34 seconds, he can be seen running across a road on the way to the park.
- After 48 seconds, Aziz is pictured crossing a road in a different pair of trousers after leaving the park
Many of the worst injuries were delivered with a hammer-like weapon that has not been found.
Several of her teeth were found on the pavilion floor and she died within an hour from dreadful head injuries.
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The semi-naked victim was dragged around 150 metres and draped over a park bench where the body was discovered by a dog walker shortly before 7am the following morning. The gratuitous violence started when she rejected his advances.
Bombarded with messages
Ayman Aziz, aged 16 at the time, was determined to have sex with her and bombarded the Lithuanian-born girl with requests to meet in the park late at night after suddenly reviving social media contact following a break during which they lost touch.
He told Viktorija they would just 'chill out ' and smoke cannabis but the real motive for his renewed interest was revealed by the way he trawled the internet before their meeting looking for information about the type of sex he inflicted on her.
Friends warned her not to meet him in the dark at the park but she ignored the advice and paid with her life.
She was last seen alive on CCTV film as she walked to her rendezvous with death near her home in Mostyn Street, Whitmore Reans and that of the murderer round the corner in Bright Street.
Aziz came from the Middle East, was a paranoid schizophrenic and had been home tutored since leaving school at 15.
He was under the care of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and was apparently taking medication for depression and anxiety but had not displayed violent or aggressive tendencies before the fateful night of April 11 last year. He was also hooked on porn.
Mr Adam Kane QC, defending, maintained: "He was a very unwell, emotionally impoverished young man with a complex past full of poverty and neglect.
"The teenager had been seen walking naked around the streets and when arrested he was dishevelled and hearing voices."
The jury unanimously convicted Aziz of murder after a trial at the same court in December and the case had been adjourned for pre-sentence reports.
Viktorija's heartbroken mother Karolina Valantiniene said: "I hope nobody else on earth is as horrible as Aziz."
Her husband - Viktorija's step father - Saidas Valantinas added: "I feel nothing but anger towards him. I think people like him should be kept in isolation."
Viktorija was a vulnerable, headstrong 14-year-old who had been skipping school, smoking drugs, drinking alcohol and having sex. Wolverhampton Safeguarding Board carried out a Serious Case Review into the way the case was handled by various organisations.
Social workers were making weekly checks on the family who started talking to a Safeguarding Hub worker about their concern at the way their daughter was staying out at night in parks near their home in June 2017. These included West Park where the murder took place. An early intervention police officer was also involved with the case.
Her mother Karolina Valantiniene said after the case: "My world fell apart the day she died. I could barely comprehend what the detectives were saying. I could not eat or sleep. I wanted to hide away. I cried out all my tears and my heart was torn to pieces.
"She had loads of beautiful dreams and then someone comes to see you at work and tells you she has gone forever. I wanted to die together with her.
"I had many questions and no answers. Viktorija will never be replaced and will always be missed dearly. She will remain in our hearts forever."
Full coverage of the trial:
- Schoolgirl 'bludgeoned to death by teenage Facebook friend'
- Viktorija Sokolova's friend warned of danger before fatal attack
- Murder trial hears how trainers helped police hunt suspect
- Tragic teen Viktorija Sokolova ‘didn’t want to be at home’
- Jury told of horror injuries sustained by teenager
- Dog walker thought body was 'blow-up doll prank'
- Heavy rain 'could have washed clues away'
- Step-father's DNA 'found on Viktorija's underwear'
- Viktorija Sokolova's mother speaks of last kiss goodbye
- Mother and stepfather deny killing Viktorija
- Teenage suspect 'told police he was framed'
- Murder trial defendant will not give evidence
- Viktorija Sokolova murder jury hears closing speeches
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