July 2019

Teenager who brutally raped and murdered schoolgirl named following a court appeal

A teenage boy who brutally raped and murdered a schoolgirl in a park has been named following a court appeal.

Ayman Aziz, 17, was sentenced to life imprisonment in February after being found guilty of murdering 14-year-old Viktorija Sokolova in Wolverhampton.

She was lured to the city’s West Park in April 2018 where Aziz attacked her.

His identity was previously protected because of his age, but restrictions were lifted by judges at The Court of Appeal following a press application.

Since his trial, Aziz has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and his defence counsel, Adam Kane QC, argued allowing him to be named would have an adverse effect on the teenager’s rehabilitation.

Mr Kane also said Aziz had been “bullied and threatened” in detention and, as a result, had stopped attending educational classes.

The Court of Appeal rejected Aziz’s challenge to remain anonymous as well as another appeal against his minimum term of 19-years imprisonment.

The full reasons for the court’s decision will be released at a later date, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett said.

Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, while sentencing Aziz earlier this year, said the attack was “truly shocking”.

Viktorija was savagely beaten with a hammer-like weapon by the teenager in the park’s pavilion before being dragged 150 yards (137m) to a bench, where her body was later discovered by a dog walker.

For the duration of his trial, Aziz denied any wrongdoing but was unanimously convicted by a jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

He was found to have carried out research and watched pornography prior to the murder and afterwards was caught on CCTV attempting to cover up the offence by hiding clothing, having already deleted Facebook messages and hurled Viktorija’s phone towards a lake.

The murdered teenaged had “many beautiful plans for the future”, Viktorija’s mother, Karolina Valantiniene, said previously.