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Boy, 16, denies murder of 14-year-old girl in Wolverhampton

The Guardian logo The Guardian 6 days ago Frances Perraudin
Forensic officers at the scene in West Park, Wolverhampton, where Viktorija Sokolova’s body was found. © PA Forensic officers at the scene in West Park, Wolverhampton, where Viktorija Sokolova’s body was found.

A 16-year-old boy has pleaded not guilty to the murder of a 14-year-old girl whose body was found in a park.

The body of Lithuanian-born Viktorija Sokolova was found by a member of the public in West Park, Wolverhampton, in April, a day after she was reported missing.

The defendant – who cannot be named due to his age – was remanded into custody by a judge at Wolverhampton crown court and will face trial in November. He has yet to enter a plea to a charge of rape.

Photo issued by West Midlands police of Viktorija Sokolova. © Handout Photo issued by West Midlands police of Viktorija Sokolova. During a half-hour hearing on Friday, the boy spoke only to confirm his name and plea.

Judge James Burbidge QC told the 16-year-old boy that he was likely to appear for a pre-trial hearing two weeks before his trial at the crown court in either Birmingham or Wolverhampton.

In a statement published by West Midlands police after her body was found, Viktorija’s family paid tribute to her.

The statement said: “Viktorija was like a little angel, she made our lives so colourful and full of meaning. We can’t believe she has left us at such a young age. We will never forget you, our sweetheart. You will be living in our hearts, soul and mind for ever. Goodbye our little angel.”

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