Birmingham & Black Country

Wolverhampton park murder: Boy, 16 not to give evidence

Viktorija Sokolova Image copyright Family handout
Image caption The jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court were told earlier to draw "such inferences as appear proper" from the boy's failure to testify

A 16-year-old boy accused of the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl will not give evidence in his defence, his lawyer has said.

The boy, who cannot be named, denies murdering Viktorija Sokolova at West Park, Wolverhampton, in April.

The jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court were told earlier to draw "such inferences as appear proper" from his failure to testify.

Evidence in the boy's defence will be presented on Tuesday his lawyer said.

The prosecution alleges that the defendant used "horrific" levels of violence to murder Viktorija before leaving her partially clothed body on a park bench.

He denies murder, rape and sexual penetration of a corpse at the park where her body was found by a dog walker on April 12.

In the third week of the boy's trial, defence QC Adam Kane told Mr Justice Jeremy Baker that his client would not be called into the witness box.

The judge asked: "Have you advised him [...]if he chooses not to do so, the jury may draw such inferences as appear proper from his failure to do so?"

Mr Kane replied: "Yes I have, my lord."

Jurors were then sent away until Tuesday, when they are expected to hear closing speeches in the case, before being sent out to consider verdicts later this week.

The trial continues.

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