Girl raped and murdered by teen found with stepdads DNA in underwear

The parents of a 14-year-old girl found raped and murdered in a park have told a court neither of them had anything to do with killing the youngster.

Factory worker Karolina Valantiniene and her husband Saidas Valantinas, who was Viktorija’s stepfather, both called the suggestion, by a defence barrister, that they had been involved ‘nonsense’.

The couple, who married in 2006, were giving evidence for the prosecution’s case for first time at the trial of a 16-year-old boy who stands accused of murdering their daughter, Viktorija Sokolova.

Mrs Valantiniene was giving evidence before her spouse, after jurors heard that her husband’s semen was found on the underwear the girl had been wearing when she was fatally attacked.

Seminal fluid was also found on a pair of white jeans belonging to Viktoria which were found with the knickers, in a bin in the park grounds.

Mr Valantinas told jurors he did not know how his DNA came to be on either item of his stepdaughter’s clothing.

Neither Karolina Valantiniene or her husband Saidas Valantinas are facing any charges in the trial.

Viktorija’s natural father lives in Ireland and is not implicated in the court case.

The boy on trial, who cannot be named because of his age, is accused of rape, murder and sexual penetration of a corpse, after the youngster’s body was discovered partially-clothed by a dog walker in the city’s West Park on April 12.

Adam Kane QC, representing the accused, asked Mr Valantinas: ‘Is the real reason why your DNA is disposed as it is, on Vikorija’s knickers, because you found her in the park and that you sexually assaulted her?’

He replied: ‘This is nonsense, I deny this completely.’

Mr Kane then asked: ‘Was the consequence of the sexual assault, that there then followed a violent assault, did you kill her?’

The farm labourer replied: ‘I did not do this, this is nonsense.’

When Mrs Valantiniene was asked by Mr Kane: ‘Are you seeking to protect your husband’s involvement in the fatal assault on Viktorija?’, she replied: ‘No, this is nonsense.’

When asked ‘did you kill your daughter’, she replied: ‘No.’

Then asked if her husband had killed her daughter, she again replied: ‘No’.

Jurors at Wolverhampton Crown Court had previously heard the schoolgirl had been subjected to what a prosecutor described as ‘horrific’ levels of violence.

It is alleged the youth used a hammer-like weapon to fracture the victim’s skull in a pavilion known as the ‘black house’, before sexually assaulting her body.

The Crown’s case is that he used Facebook messenger to arrange to meet the youngster, in the city’s West Park, and changed his trousers before leaving the scene.

Giving evidence earlier Karolina Valantiniene said she gave her daughter Viktorija Sokolova a hug in bed at home, on the evening of April 10, before heading off to sleep.

The following morning, she got up early to work an early shift as a packer in a factory but checked on her sleeping daughter before leaving.

It was the last time she saw her alive.

Giving evidence for the first time on Thursday, the victim’s mother told the court her daughter had at one stage been sent to live with her natural father after repeatedly running away from the family home.

On the Sunday before she was killed, the girl disappeared again, so Mrs Valantiniene went looking for her.

She found her later that night in a children’s play area with a former ‘boyfriend’ and another girl, smoking cannabis.

When she asked her daughter to come home, the teenager ‘started to shout and scratch’ and ‘became violent’, she told the court.

She managed to elude her mother, but was picked up by the police the next day and placed in a children’s home overnight.

On Tuesday, April 10, she was brought back to the family home by a social worker, who advised Mrs Valantiniene and Viktorija’s stepfather to try and ‘communicate’ with the girl.

Mrs Valantiniene, describing the last contact she had with her daughter, said: ‘We were about to go to sleep.

‘I came to her room, gave her a hug, and kissed her for the last time.’

As she left for work at 4am, on April 11, she added: ‘I came to see Viktorija before I left.’

There was no more contact between the pair, and after work that evening, when her daughter failed to come home, she called the police and reported her missing.

She and her husband, Saidas Valantinas, went to bed and the next morning checked their daughter’s bed to find she had not returned.

Mrs Valantiniene said it would have been impossible for her daughter to sneak back into the home undetected, as the couple had a burglar alarm and a dead bolt on the inside of the front door.

She later told the jury that following a patch of ‘bad’ behaviour from her daughter, beginning in summer 2017 when she started hanging around with ‘older Eastern European males’, she was sent away.

Viktorija went to Ireland to live with her natural father in late December 2017, returning to Wolverhampton in February 2018.

The move followed an incident on December 15, when Viktorija had gone missing once again, when one of the windows was smashed at the family home.

In a phone call to 999 police call handler that day, Mrs Valantiniene said: ‘I am scared in my own house, you understand.

‘I have a very big problem with my daughter. She is a very troubled child, very troubled.

‘She smokes, she sleeps with guys, and she smokes ganja.

‘She’s drinking and I don’t know what to do, because she’s a very bad child.’

After returning from her break in Ireland, Viktorija appeared to settle down, her mother said, and after starting a new school, their relationship was back to being ‘ideal’.

But two weeks later, she ran away once again.