Bernadette Walker murder trial: Phone data reveals dad’s early morning Mcdonalds trip after spending night out of house

Mobile phone data showed the man accused of murdering Peterborough teenager Bernadette Walker went for an early morning McDonalds - after spending the night away from home the day after she disappeared.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 6:52 am
Bernadette Walker
Bernadette Walker

Earlier this week when opening the case, prosecutor Lisa Wilding QC, said the nearly three hours Scott Walker - who denies murdering Bernadette (17) - spent away from the Century Square family home a few hours after Bernadette was last seen alive was an ‘opportunity to dispose of the body.

Bernadette was last seen leaving her grandparents home on the morning of July 18 last year, when Scott Walker picked her up. Bernadette had made allegations Scott Walker - who is not Bernadette’s biological father, but was known to her as ‘dad’ - in the days before she went missing.

In the early hours of July 19, cell site data showed Scott Walker’s phone left the Century Square home at 2.36am, and he went to a lock up garage on Montagu Road. Scott Walker had visited the lock up after Bernadette was seen leaving her grandparent’s home earlier in the day.

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Ms Wilding, who was going through phone data in detail with DC Jacqui Quinn, from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police, gave details of the movements of Scott Walker’s phone through the night.

The jury was told Scott Walker was able to be placed at the lock-up at 2.47am, and while there he made 172 steps in 10 minutes.

The phone left the lock up at 3am, and a photo was taken of a male face on the phone at 3am and 47 seconds - the photo was taken at the junction of Fane Road and Fulbridge Road.

Ms Wilding said the phone then appeared to travel to the Gunthorpe area of the city.

At 3.08am, eight steps were recorded on Scott’s phone, and the phone was connected to a cell site in Gunthorpe for almost two hours and 20 minutes, from 3.06am until 5.23am.

Ms Wilding said GPS data put Scott’s phone in the vicinity of Ulldale Way for that period - and he returned to the lock up garage at 5.37am, when 86 steps were recorded on the phone.

He left the garage shortly after 6am, and made a visit to the McDonalds drive through at 6.20am. He had returned home by 6.35am.

When opening the case earlier this week, Ms Wilding said of Scott’s movements that night: “Scott Walker had been out of the house for most of the night.

“The prosecution cannot say what he was doing - but what we do say is it may have been a time when Scott Walker was able to dispose of the body.”

The jury also heard that later in the afternoon on July 19, messages were sent from Bernadette’s handset to her mum, Sarah Walker’s phone at 3.33pm. At the time Scott Walker’s handset was located at the lock up, while Sarah Walker’s phone was at a friend’s home on Padholme Road. Bernadette’s phone was located in the Westwood area of the city near the prison.

The message said; “I don’t know what to do, but I will be soon, when I am ready. I really want us to delete messages too. I will tell you more later.”

Ms Wilding said Bernadette’s phone then disconnected from the network.

A message from Sarah’s phone replied at 4.27pm: “OK, I’ve deleted everything. What do you want to tell me x”

At 3.45pm, Scott Walker sent a photo and a text message to his step father, and CCTV showed his Mercedes van leaving the garage at 3.58pm.

Later that evening, friends of Bernadette tried to phone her, but the phone was switched off.

The court also heard a message had been sent from Instagram to Bernadette’s Gmail account. Investigations have revealed that message had been read when police examined the account.

An exchange on Facebook Messenger between Sarah Walker and one of Bernadette’s friends, on July 19, was read to jurors, which showed Sarah Walker had told him to block her on social media.

The friend wrote to apologise to Sarah Walker after she told him that Bernadette’s abuse claims were false.

He said he “just wanted to say I’m sorry for anything you read” in an exchange he had with Bernadette.

“I believed her and tried to be a good friend and help her through it and am really angry and upset with her about this,” he said.

“I don’t want you to believe I think you’re a bad mum.”

In her response, Sarah Walker told the boy: “I really advise you block her to be honest.

“You don’t need that drama.”

She went on: “I really miss her and know she’s sad right now but we can move past this.”

Sarah Walker wrote that she “didn’t take (Bernadette) to the police in the end, I took her to her grandparents”.

“I hoped she would own up to them.”

She added: “If I thought for one minute it’s true, her dad wouldn’t be here.”

The court has heard Scott Walker says that after picking up Bernadette from her grandparents on July 18, she got out of the car and walked off.

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.