A 14-year-old girl told a friend she wanted to die in the weeks leading up to her rape and murder, a report into her “unhappy” home life found.
The fresh picture of Viktorija Sokolova’s final months has emerged in a serious case review of her dealings with authorities before she was brutally attacked in April 2018.
She was killed by 17-year-old Ayman Aziz in Wolverhampton’s West Park.
The review concluded her death “could never have been foreseen”.
It also uncovered new detail of “vulnerable” Viktorija’s “chaotic” life and made eight recommendations to improve practice going forward.
The report said the teenager felt a desire to leave home like a “fire burning under her feet”.
But while it cited possible “neglect factors” in her home life that could have “magnified her vulnerabilities”, it recognised her parents had been working hard to “manage the challenges of a teenager”.
Aziz, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia after a trial, was sentenced to life imprisonment for rape and murder in February.
Viktorija “knew her killer”, the report states, but “they were not close friends”.
Viktorija was originally from Lithuania and had lived with her mother and stepfather in the UK for seven years. She went to live with her father in Belfast at the end of December 2017 but returned to Wolverhampton in February 2018.
Concerns had been raised about her in the months leading up to her death, the review said, noting frequent periods of her going missing.
Various agencies were involved as concerns had been raised about her being seen with older males and her association with a child known to be at risk of child sexual exploitation.
Her relationship with her mother and stepfather deteriorated, and they were unhappy about her boyfriend, who was the same age as her, and said they believed her behaviour had changed after meeting him.
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According to the report, Viktorija told social workers she considered “her friends [to be] her family” while her friends said they had seen bruises on her body and she told them she was unhappy at home.
She had also expressed a wish to die in the weeks leading up to her death, one friend told social workers.
The review found her parents “required support with alternative parenting strategies” and “needed to be helped” to “rebuild their relationship” with her.
Linda Sanders, independent chair of Wolverhampton Safeguarding Board which commissioned the review, said: “The review is very clear that there were no indications that her life was at risk from the person convicted of killing her, or that her death could have been predicted or prevented.”
The report also found “there was nothing to suggest that, on meeting her, [Aziz] would embark on such a horrific attack”.
In gauging what lessons could be learned by agencies that work to protect local children, the review recommends the safeguarding board further develop its neglect strategy for adolescents, review its missing persons’ interview policy and better consider when interpreters are needed.
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