Bernadette Walker Murder Trial: Missing teenager’s mum told her boyfriend she had sent messages from Bernadette’s phone

Bernadette Walker’s mum admitted to her boyfriend she had sent messages from her daughter’s phone - but only made the admissions after she had been arrested, a jury has been told.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 5:00 am
Bernadette Walker EMN-200914-154112001
Bernadette Walker EMN-200914-154112001

Bernadette (17) was last seen alive on July 18 last year when she was picked up from her grandparent’s home by Scott Walker - a man known to her as ‘dad’ but not her biological father.

Scott Walker is charged with murder, while Bernadette’s mum, Sarah Walker, is charged with perverting the course of justice.

The court has heard that Bernadette had made allegations to her mum that Scott Walker had sexually assaulted her, and she had gone to stay with her grandparents after making the allegations.

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The jury has heard cell site evidence placed Bernadette’s phone at the family home in Century Square when she stayed over, and not with Bernadette at her grandparent’s home.

The court has also been told there were occasions after she was last seen alive where cell site evidence was able to place Bernadette’s phone in the same location as Scott and Sarah Walker’s phones.

Yesterday (Wednesday) Cambridge Crown Court heard from Chris O’Connell, Sarah Walker’s boyfriend.

Messages were sent from Bernadette’s phone to Mr O’Connell’s phone after she went missing.

Mr O’Connell told the court that Sarah Walker told him that she had sent messages from Bernadette’s phone.

He said he had questioned whether the messages had been sent by Bernadette - but Sarah Walker had not said she had sent them until after her arrest.

He said: “I queried some of the messages to her (Sarah). The language used in the messages, I asked if it was something she (Bernadette) would say. I needed to know it was her.”

He added: “She accused Scott of sending one message, saying it was not Bernadette.”

The court heard Mr O’Connell, who said he was still in a relationship with Sarah Walker, gave a statement to police on September 11 last year - at which point Sarah Walker had not admitted sending the messages.

He said she later admitted sending some messages from her phone.

The court also heard how Scott Walker had sent messages to Mr O’Connell’s colleagues and family when he started the relationship with Sarah Walker.

Mr O’Connell had been a tutor of Sarah Walker’s when she was taking a maths course in 2018 - with the relationship between the pair starting in 2019.

The court was also told Scott Walker had made a complaint about the relationship - although Mr O’Connell was exonerated as nothing inappropriate had happened.

Elizabeth Marsh QC, defending Scott Walker, described her client as being ‘devastated’ when Mr O’Connell had started the relationship.

Mr O’Connell also said that while he had never met Scott Walker, he had seen evidence that he had been in the vicinity of his house while he was in a relationship with Sarah Walker. He said Sarah Walker showed him messages from Scott Walker saying he had left his back gate open, and was told that one night revving that could be heard outside his home was Scott Walker on a motorbike.

Ms Marsh also said Sarah Walker had lied to Mr O’Connell a number of times, including when she told him Scott Walker was not moving out of the family house as he had a court order.

Mr O’Connell also told the jury Sarah Walker had been ‘angry’ when she had received a text from Bernadette Walker outlining the sexual abuse allegations against Scott Walker.

When asked if she was angry with Bernadette for making the allegations, or with Scott Walker, Mr O’Connell said ‘both.’

He said Sarah Walker did not believe the allegations.

Scott Walker (51) of Century Square, Peterborough denies murder and four counts of perverting the course of justice.

Sarah Walker (38) 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.