Bernadette Walker Murder Trial: Hour and twenty minutes of ‘unexplained activity’ as Scott and Sarah Walker travelled to Cowbit in the middle of the night after teenager went missing

There was an hour and twenty minutes of unexplained activity when the parents of missing teenager Bernadette Walker travelled to Cowbit in the middle of the night after she went missing, a jury has been told.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 3:22 pm
Bernadette Walker
Bernadette Walker

Bernadette Walker (17) was last seen alive when Scott Walker - not her biological father but known to her as ‘dad’ - picked her up from her grandparent’s house on the morning of Saturday, July 18.

She had told her mum, Sarah Walker, Scott Walker had abused her over a number of years in the days previous.

In the early hours of July 20, phone data was able to place Scott Walker, Sarah Walker and Bernadette’s phones in the Cowbit area - but for an hour and 20 minutes, all the phones were turned off, and there were no camera sightings of Scott Walker’s car. Earlier in the week, when opening the case, Lisa Wilding QC, prosecuting, said this time was an opportunity to dispose of Bernadette’s body.

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Scott Walker (50) of Century Square, Peterborough has been charged with murder. He denies the charge.

The court was told that in the early hours of Monday, July 20, cell site and GPS technology was able to place Scott and Sarah Walker’s phones at a lock-up garage on Montagu Road, visited by Scott Walker on a number of occasions since Bernadette was last seen alive.

The GPS tracker was able to place the phones at the garage at 12.27am, and leaving the garage five minutes later.

An average speed camera picked up Scott Walker’s silver Mercedes travelling on the A16 northbound away from Peterborough at 12.37am.

The phones connected to a cell site known as ‘Crowland Water Tower’ at 12.42am.

The jury heard that at the start of the journey, Scott and Sarah Walker’s phones were switched on - but at 12.43am Sarah Walker’s phone disconnected from the network, and a minute later, Scott Walker’s phone was disconnected. Neither would re-connect until after 3am.

The court heard Bernadette’s phone was connected to the network at 12.54, with it connected to a number of cell sites in the Cowbit area in the next 35 minutes.

Ms Wilding said that the fact it connected to a number of sites suggested the phone was moving.

During the time when Bernadette’s phone was switched on, a number of messages were sent from it.

The first message was sent to Sarah Walker.

The message said: “For God’s sake, what the hell mum, stop messaging my friends. I swear you tell anyone else I lied I will tell them I don’t have my phone, I’ll tell everyone dad has got it. I’m OK.”

Messages were also sent to friends of Bernadette’s from her hand set.

One sent to one friend said: “you can leave me alone too.”

Another sent to another friend started a conversation between the two.

Bernadette’s phone: “Please leave me alone.”

Friends’s phone: “Bernadette - please go home.”

Bernadette’s phone: “Everyone hates me now.”

Friend’s phone: “I don’t, your mum doesn’t.”

Bernadette’s phone; “You should.”

Friend’s phone: “Well I don’t because I care about you.”

Bernadette’s phone: “I’m OK”

The friend sent a message asking who she was with, and a reply came back telling him no.

The friend said; “OK, that’s fine. Your mum loves you so much and she really really misses you.”

Bernadette’s phone: “Stop messaging people about me. I’ll throw my phone. Leave me alone.”

Friend’s phone: “Are you serious?”

Bernadette’s phone: “Yeah.”

Friend’s phone “I just want you to go home.”

Bernadette’s phone: I know.”

A message from the friend said that she had ‘scared everyone’.

The reply from Bernadette’s phone said: “I don’t care. Sorry, got to go, they don’t know I actually have my phone.”

At 1.28am, the last message was sent from Bernadette’s phone, which said “I don’t know what to do, keeping my options open. K, bye.”

At 1.29am, Bernadette’s phone was disconnected - and the court has heard it never reconnected, and has not been recovered.

The next sighting of Scott Walker’s car was on the A15 at Glinton at 1.49am.

Ms Wilding said: “Scott and Sarah Walker’s handsets were disconnected. Bernadette’s handset was disconnected.

“There was no recorded activity from any handset or the car until the telephone until Sarah’s phone reconnects at 3.03am, and is in the location of the house in Century Square at 3.07am.
“There is approximately an hour and 20 minutes of unexplained activity.”

While Sarah Walker’s phone reconnects at just after 3am, Scott Walker’s phone did not connect until 4.08am - again, he was in the vicinity of the Century Square home when he did.

Scott Walker has pleaded not guilty to murder and four counts of perverting the course of justice.

Sarah Walker has pleaded not guilty to two counts of perverting the course of justice. She has pleaded guilty to two counts of perverting the course of justice.

The case continues.