Bernadette Walker Murder Trial: Jury hear teenager’s mum’s call to report daughter missing more than three days after she was last seen alive

The phone call made by Bernadette’s mum to report her daughter missing to police has been heard by the jury during the murder trial.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 5:09 pm
Bernadette Walker
Bernadette Walker

Seventeen-year-old Bernadette was last seen alive leaving her grandparent’s home with Scott Walker - known to Bernadette as dad but not her biological father - on the morning of Saturday, July 18.

Scott Walker is charged with murder and perverting the course of justice. Her mum, Sarah Walker, is charged with perverting the course of justice.

Today (Friday) the jury heard the call made by Sarah Walker reporting Bernadette missing.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The call was made just before 3.20am on Tuesday July 21.

The jury were told that initially Sarah Walker had contacted Cambridgeshire police via the webchat service at 1.31am, asking for advice.

She told the officer on the web chat that she had received messages from Bernadette saying she was OK, but had not heard from her for a while.

The officer advised Sarah Walker to call 101 to make a missing person report.

She made the 101 call at 3.18am, with the call lasting 50 minutes.

In the call she started by saying: “Hiya, it’s Mrs Walker. Umm...I’m just ringing to report my 17-year-old daughter er...missing.”

When asked how long she had been missing, Sarah Walker said; “ Well, she ran away on Saturday lunch time but I knew where she was until she stopped messaging at er... 1am er...yesterday morning.”

The jury have heard Bernadette’s phone was in the Cowbit area on the Monday evening when the last activity on it was recorded.

Sarah added: “Yeah and I sort of...I gave her the day to sort of ...sort it out a bit because it’s not the first time she’s done it

“And then of course as umm ...it’s become...I’ve become aware of the fact that she’s not where she told us she was so obviously I...that’s what I’m phoning now.”

During the call, Sarah Walker was asked about the events on the last time she was seen alive.

When asked when the last time either Sarah or Scott Walker saw Bernadette was.

Sarah said: “Umm...it was around I’d say what 1pm on the Saturday the 18th.

When asked where it was, Sarah said: “Where was it she got...she jumped out the car and run off, I’m just asking her dad now.”

A male voice in background is heard to say: “Er...Salters Way.”

Sarah Walker then said: ‘It was between Salters Way,’ before a male voice can be heard saying: “Mountstevens. And Mountsteven Avenue, it was around that area.”

Sarah Walker was asked where Bernadette said she was going. She replied: “She...she didn’t she just umm...she was just...he was just, he was just talking to her about y’know cos they’d been a row and that’s why she had gone to Grandparents and he just said, look er...y’know we’ll go home, we can talk about things at home and she went, I am not going home, I’ve told you. And she just, got out and ran.”

Sarah Walker then told the officer that she had received a message from Bernadette saying she was at a friend’s house - but when asked if she had been round to the friend’s house, she said: “Er...I didn’t no because his parents are umm.. Polish and I, she doesn’t speak a word of English.”

Later in the call, Sarah Walker said: “In hindsight I wish I’d phoned you guys a bit sooner but I didn’t wanna push her away by... I don’t know...stupid idea.”

The officer asked Sarah Walker to re-cap what had happened when Bernadette was last seen. She said: “Umm....I ...I wasn’t there but umm...she’d ...her dad had said something along the lines of er...y’know, you, you need to apologise to mum when we get back umm....and then obviously you can’t...you can’t just be having attitude and things like that and she said, I’m not going home and just...he stopped to roll a cigarette and she just jumped and ran. So he sort of jumped out of the car, locked it and then ran after her... but because he had to...he was delayed because he had to pull the car up...cos he’d only pulled it, side of road so he had to pull it onto the kerb, so it weren’t blocking traffic.”

Sarah Walker was also asked for a description of Bernadette, if she had run away before, and if she had access to money or social media accounts.

She said Bernadette had topped her phone up. The court has previously heard a top up voucher was purchased using Sarah Walker’s bank card at 6.28pm on July 18 - the day Bernadette was last seen alive - with the top up used on Bernadette’s phone.

The police officer also asked if Sarah Walker had checked any of the hospitals, with Sarah Walker saying she had not.

The call was ended with Sarah Walker asked to contact officers if she had any update.

Scott Walker (50) of Century Square, Peterborough denies murder and four counts of perverting the course of justice.

Sarah Walker (37) of Century Square, Peterborough, denies two counts of perverting the course of justice. She has pleaded guilty to two counts of perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.