Bernadette Walker Murder Trial; Lies from defendants were ‘nothing short of wicked’
The lies told by Scott and Sarah Walker to protect themselves, rather than their teenage daughter after she had been killed were ‘nothing short of wicked,’ the CPS has said.
Scott Walker, 51, carried out the murder in a 90-minute period when he was meant to be driving 17-year-old Bernadette Walker, known as Bea, from his parents’ house to their family home on Saturday 18 July last year.
This was the last time Bea was seen. Her body has never been found and it is thought likely Scott Walker disposed of her in the countryside near Peterborough.
Scott Walker - known to Bernadette as dad but not her biological father - was found guilty of murder and perverting the course of justice at a trial at Cambridge Crown Court, while Sarah Walker, Bernatte’s mum, was found guilty of two counts of perverting the course of justice.
The prosecution said that shortly after killing her Scott Walker called Sarah Walker, to tell her what he had done and asked her to help him cover up the death and buy them both time to work out what should happen next. They then concocted a story which was intended to mislead and pervert the investigation into the disappearance and death of Bernadette.
The story the pair invented and which they stuck to throughout their trial at Cambridge Crown Court was that Scott Walker stopped the car to confront Bernadette about her allegations of sexual abuse against him. She then jumped out and walked off leaving her backpack with her few belongings in the car. He told police that he went after her, but she disappeared down an alleyway and he went home without her.
Meanwhile, Sarah Walker used Bernadette’s mobile phone to send fake text messages to her friends, Bernadette’s friends, and to family members supposedly from her daughter confessing she had run off because she lied about the abuse and did not want to get into trouble.
They did not report her missing to the police until 21 July and by then they had laid the false trail and had disposed of Bernadette’s body.
Nicola Rice, senior prosecutor from CPS East of England said: “On the morning of the 18 July, Scott Walker went to collect Bea from his parent’s home. Prior to doing this he went to his lock-up garage. When he arrived, he was told that Bea was still maintaining that he had sexually abused her. He drove off from his parents with Bea. This was the last time that anyone saw Bea. Shortly after his mobile phone was sited in the countryside outside of Peterborough and then switched off for 90 minutes. This is where and when the prosecution say that Bea was killed.
“He then telephoned Sarah Walker and they talked for nine minutes. The Crown’s case was that it was in this time that, knowing Bea was dead, that they concocted a plan and began to lay a false trail that she was missing. They went to extraordinary levels of deceit to cover-up what happened, telling a web of lies to family members, friends and ultimately to the police.
“Despite a police investigation and search, Bea’s body has never been recovered. We all hope that one day Scott and Sarah Walker will do the right thing and say where she is in the hope that dignity can be returned to her.”
Ms Rice added: “Bea was not reported missing until three days after Scott Walker collected her; enough time for he and Sarah Walker to get their story together and to do what they needed to ensure that there was no link back to them.
“When she was reported missing Sarah Walker, in the presence of Scott Walker, continued to tell lies, hampering the police investigation. She pretended Bea chose not to return and lying that she had been in contact with her. The truth was that Bea did not have her mobile phone. Scott and Sarah Walker always had it and purported to be Bea until they disposed of it.
“The delay in reporting Bea missing and the lies they told everyone were nothing short of wicked and designed only to protect themselves without any thought, care or love for Bea or their wider family.”
Scott and Sarah Walker, both of Century Square, will be sentenced on September 10.