A 16-year-old boy who killed a schoolgirl and dumped her body on a park bench has been found guilty of rape and murder.

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, remained composed as a jury at Wolverhampton crown court unanimously convicted him of murdering Viktorija Sokolova.

Detectives believe the boy used a hammer, which has never been found, to attack the 14-year-old, who suffered a fractured skull and spine.

A three-week trial was told that Viktorija was lured to West Park in Wolverhampton late on 11 April after her killer contacted her on Facebook Messenger.

He was caught on CCTV after the killing as he attempted to cover up the offence by hiding clothing. He also deleted Facebook messages and hurled his victim’s phone toward a lake.

Detectives also achieved what is thought to be a legal first while bringing Sokolova’s killer to justice by “lifting” a fingerprint from a mobile phone video. They spotted a recognisable print in a film showing Viktorija’s murderer scrolling through his iPhone for passwords as he prepared to delete evidence linking him to the schoolgirl. The footage did not show the boy’s face, meaning a fingerprint was the only means of proving he was using the phone.

The boy, who refused to give evidence and claimed to have learning difficulties, initially denied meeting Viktorija.

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