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West Park murder trial: Viktorija Sokolova's mother speaks of last kiss goodbye

By John Scott | Wolverhampton | Crime | Published:

The mother of 14-year-old Viktorija Sokolova has told of their last kiss and how they clashed four days before the body was found.

Viktorija’s mother Karolina Valantiniene, left, spoke of seeing her daughter, right, for the final time

Karolina Valantiniene also outlined to the Wolverhampton Crown Court jury the difficulties faced by both her and her husband in trying to control the rebellious teenager who kept running away from home.

Mrs Valantiniene agreed that while reporting a broken window at the family's Whitmore Reans home in Mostyn Street to a police switchboard operator last December she said: "I scared in my home, you understad.

"I have a very big problem with my daughter. She is very trouble child. She smokes. She sleeps with guys. She smoke Ganja. She drink. She very bad child."

At the same time Viktorija's attendance at Kings Church of England School in Tettenhall had slumped from almost 90 to 78 percent and her parents were told that drastic action was needed, the court heard. It was rumoured that she was staying out until 4am with older Eastern European men.

Forensic teams conduct searches around West Park

Her mother and step father sent the girl to Ireland to live with her natural father where she stayed until February but two weeks after her return she ran away from home again.

When she came back around March 10 her angry mother burned her clothes and confiscated her iPhone. Mrs Valantiniene confirmed that later that day Viktorija stole her bank card and used it to withdraw £250 before going missing for six days.

She agreed while under cross examination from Mr Adam Kane QC, defending, that when the girl, who first had contact with social workers in June last year, ran away she would block her mother from contacting her through social media.

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Mrs Valantiniene did not like a Slovakian boy Viktorija started going out with last autumn.

"He was rude, rough and unpleasant," she said. "He had a very bad influence on her. We had tyres slashed and windows broken. We were not just in fear about Viktorija but also our own safety."

Four days before the teenager's body she stole her step father's bank card and withdrew a further £250.

The police were informed and her mother found her with two other people at a children's playground Staveley Park in Whitmore Reans that night.

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Mrs Valantiniene explained: "I told her 'lets go home.' Her response was very aggressive. They were smoking grass. She was scared and trying to escape.

"I was holding her with both arms and she was shouting. I put her on the ground to calm her, pressed her with my knees.

"Told her to be good and calm down. When I stood up she started to scratch and became violent. She managed to escape."

Mrs Valantiniene conceded that she might have caused a large bruise on the inside of Viktorija's thigh.

The teenager was arrested at the home of a friend the following morning and spent that night at a children's home after being interviewed. She was returned to the family home by social workers around 5pm the next day.

Her mother, who works as a packer in a factory, said: "She did not communicate. She did not speak to us and went to her room. I went to her room, tried to speak to her but she was on the phone all the time and did not speak to me. When we were about to go to sleep I went to her room and kissed her for the last time."

Mrs Valantiniene looked in on her daughter before she left for work at 4am on April 11.

Tributes were left to the school girl known as Tori by friends

She continued: "I don't think I had any further contact with her that day. I got back at 5pm.

"She was always told to come home by 9pm. I called the police around 9.20pm. I hoped they would search for her."

Viktorija had not returned when she checked early the next morning before going to work. Police phoned with the dreadful news of her daughter's death around lunch time.

The teenager had been bludgeoned to death after going to West Park where she had arranged a late night meeting with a Facebook friend at the wooden pavilion, known as the 'black house.'

Her semi-naked body was found draped over a bench in the park shortly before 7am on April 12.

A 16-year-old youth, who cannot be named because of his age, denies murder, rape and having sex with a dead body.

The case continues.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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