Bernadette Walker Murder Trial: ‘No reason in evidence or logic’ to believe Sarah Walker believed Bernadette was dead, jury told
There was ‘no reason in evidence or logic’ for Sarah Walker to believe Bernadette Walker was dead, a jury has been told.
Peterborough 17-year-old Bernadette has not been seen, dead or alive, since July 18 last year. It is alleged Scott Walker - known to Bernadette as ‘dad’ although not her biological father - murdered her to silence the teenager after she alleged he had sexually abused her.
Scott Walker and Bernadette’s mum Sarah Walker also face charges of perverting the course of justice. Sarah Walker denies two counts of perverting the course of justice. She has pleaded guilty to two counts of perverting the course of justice.
The charges she has admitted relate to the sending of messages from Bernadette’s phone and providing false information to police, while believing Bernadette was alive.
The two she denies relate to the same allegations, but are instead that she believed Bernadette was dead.
Scott Walker denies all four counts of perverting the course of justice.
Giving his closing speech this afternoon, Alisdair Williamson QC, representing Sarah Walker, told the jury to consider the evidence in the case carefully before reaching any verdicts.
He said: “Consider the evidence carefully. There is no reason in logic, no reason in evidence, for her to believe Bernadette was dead, and had been killed by Scott Walker.”
Bernadette was last seen on the morning of July 18 last year, when Scott Walker went to pick her up from her grandparents’ home in Werrington.
The court has heard that shortly afterwards, Scott Walker’s mobile phone was switched off for a length of time - during which the prosecution have alleged he killed the teenager - and when his phone was switched on, he immediately called Sarah Walker. The prosecution say during the call he admitted killing Bernadette, and ‘an unholy alliance’ was formed between the pair to cover the killing up.
The court has also heard that Sarah Walker was seeing another man - Chris O’Connell - at the time, and had been trying to find a way to get Scott Walker to move out of the family home in Century Square, Peterborough.
Mr Williamson said; “Why would Scott tell her he had killed Bernadette? There was no need.
“What was in it for her? Surely the first thing to do would be to say ‘yeah, thanks Scott’ put the phone down and call the police.
“Unless she was never told Bernadette had been killed.”
Mr Williamson said the jury could conclude Sarah Walker had told the truth about what had happened on the morning of July 18.
He said: “She was telling Chris that she (Bernadette) had told her grandparents that all she wanted was for her (Sarah Walker) to believe her (Bernadette) over the abuse allegations.
“We know that is what Bernadette said because we have heard from her grandmother, Julie.
“There is no way she could have known about that unless there was a conversation between her and either the grandmother of Scott - and we know it was not with Julie.”
He said; “When she had received the call from Scott Walker, she told Chris that Bernadette had run away.
Mr Williamson added; “She was telling the truth as she was told it.”
During the trial, which has now entered its sixth week, the court has heard Sarah Walker sent a number of messages from Bernadette’s phone after she disappeared, as well as changing passwords on some of her email and social media accounts.
She also sent a message from her own phone, asking friends of Bernadette to block her on social media because she had lied about the sexual abuse allegations
Mr Williamson said: “Why ask them to block her? So if Bernadette is still alive, they can’t get in contact with them. There is no point if she is dead, she is not going to contact them.
“The same goes for changing the passwords.”
Mr Williamson described Scott Walker as being ‘controlling and narcissistic’ and a ‘liar’ who spied on Sarah Walker and Chris.
During the trial, the court has heard about pictures of bruises that had been caused to Sarah Walker’s face at an earlier time.
Mr Williamson said: “Scott Walker says they were caused by Sarah Walker hitting herself with a piece of wood. Why would she do that? Scott could never come up with a reason.”
Addressing the fact Sarah Walker did not give evidence, Mr Williamson said; “Sarah Walker is silent. She chooses not to give evidence. For many, there is nothing she could say that would not become a sideshow.
“I do not deny lies have come from her mouth. They have left her broken.”
The judge, Mrs Justice Maura McGowan, will start her summing up tomorrow morning. She told the jury it was likely they will start their deliberations around lunchtime tomorrow.
Scott Walker (51) of Century Square, Peterborough denies murder and four counts of perverting the course of justice.
Sarah Walker (39) 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.