A teenager used “horrific” levels of violence to rape and murder a 14-year-old girl, a court has heard.
The 16-year-old boy is alleged to have used a hammer-like weapon to fracture Viktorija Sokolova’s skull before sexually abusing her lifeless body.
She was found dead and partially-clothed by a dog walker at Wolverhampton’s West Park at about 7am on 12 April.
A jury at the city’s Crown Court was that told the boy, who cannot be named because of his age, had used Facebook’s messaging service to arrange to meet Sokolova in the park.
Opening the case against the teenager, who denies murder, rape and sexual penetration of a corpse, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC told the jury that the dog-walker “saw what he initially thought was a blow-up doll resting on a park bench”.
“At first, he dismissed it as some sort of prank and continued with his walk,” he said. “However, on returning to the same area, he realised, no doubt to his horror, that the figure was the body of a young girl.”
The court was told that the top half of Sokolova’s body was found “draped” over the arm of the bench.
Describing her injuries, Rees said: “The post-mortem examination of her body revealed that she had been subjected to a sustained and ferocious attack to the head, which involved a minimum of 21 blows.
“The force of the attack was such that it caused multiple fractures of the underlying skullcap and her facial skeleton.
“In short, to put it into lay-person’s terms, her head had been smashed in.”
The prosecution claims that the defendant dragged Sokolova’s body around 150 metres to the bench, adding: “The evidence indicates that Viktorija had died before she ended up being positioned over the park bench in the way that I have described.”
Jurors were told that the boy accepts meeting Sokolova in the park, where he claims consensual sexual activity took place.
The trial, which is expected to last for two weeks, was told that Sokolova had a turbulent relationship with her parents, who struggled to control her.
In the months before her death, she had been reported to police as a missing person after spending nights away from home and staying at friends’ homes.
Jurors were told she exchanged several Facebook messages with the defendant in the hours before her death, eventually arranging to go alone to meet him.
Sokolova had refused a lift home shortly before she left a friend’s house at 10.40pm to walk to the park, the court heard.
Rees said the jury will be shown CCTV evidence suggesting the boy was carrying a backpack, and changed his trousers, while in the park between 10.44pm on 11 April and 12.44am on 12 April.
The defendant is then alleged to have walked home, before deleting the Facebook messages and disposing of a bag.
The trial continues.