Bernadette Walker Murder Trial: Prosecution tell jury killing was ‘a planned, premeditated murder’

Scott Walker carried out a ‘planned, premeditated murder’ when he killed Bernadette Walker, the prosecution has told a jury.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 8:16 pm
Bernadette Walker
Bernadette Walker

Scott Walker is accused of murdering Bernadette Walker on July 18 last year.

The 17-year-old was last seen when Scott Walker - known to Bernadette as ‘dad’ but not her biological father - picked her up from her grandparents that morning. In the days leading up to July 18 she had made allegations Scott Walker had been sexually abusing her.

Scott Walker says Bernadette walked off from his car and disappeared. She has not been seen since July 18.

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The jury during the month-long trial heard that on the morning of July 18, Scott Walker’s phone was switched off for an hour and a half after he picked Bernadette up.

Cell site technology was able to say his phone had been travelling east when it was switched off.

Lisa Wilding QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “What happened, the prosecution say, is told to you by the evidence. By the evidence of the phone being switched off and by the cell site evidence. In combination, it can leave you in no doubt Scott Walker deliberately switched off his phone as he drove out to those fields out of Peterborough. It was a planned and premeditated killing.”

She described Scott Walker’s description of events as being both ‘ludicrous’ and ‘non-existent.’

She said that Scott Walker had not given a description of where Bernadette had got out of the car until he gave evidence in court, and had also given no description of the journey he had made when he picked her up.

She said he had created his story to fit the evidence.

Ms Wilding said: “The truth is, the prosecution can’t say where he killed Bernadette, though I wish we could. We can’t say how he killed Bernadette because despite extensive searches, the waterways and fields of the Fens have not handed Bernadette back.

“You can be sure she was killed in a way that left no forensic trace. This was not a killing that involved blood.

“We do suggest it was planned to silence her, done by a man you can have no doubt is forensically aware. He knew he had to lay an alternative trail.

“He knew what a phone could do, and by switching it off he could get away with it. But he didn’t switch it off quickly enough.”

Scott Walker’s phone was switched off for an hour and a half before it was switched back on - and he immediately called Sarah Walker, Bernadette’s mum, making a nine-minute phone call.

Ms Wilding told them to imagine they had received that call, that, on the defence case, was when Scott Walker had told Sarah Walker that their 17-year-old daughter had gone missing.

Ms Wilding said that ‘you’d have 50 questions’ to ask - including where she had gone missing, what direction she had walked, what she had said, if she had her phone, if she had money.’She said: “Your every waking moment would be obsessed with getting her back.”

However, she said in the nine-minute phone call ‘the unholy alliance’ between Scott and Sarah Walker began. Ms Wilding said that within half an hour of that phone call, Sarah had sent a message to one of Bernadette’s friends, pretending to be Bernadette, saying ‘I ran away, I don’t want to be in trouble for lying.”

Ms Wilding also asked the jury to consider why Scott and Sarah Walker made so many trips to a lock-up garage between July 18 and July 20.

She said the first visit was before Scott Walker picked Bernadette up on the morning of July 18. After that visit, there were four further visits that day, two visits on July 19, and one just after midnight on July 20.

She said the garage ‘must have been’ where Bernadette’s mobile phone was stored.

In the early hours of July 19, Scott Walker’s phone was placed in Ulldale Way in Peterborough. Ms Wilding said that when he gave evidence to the court he had said he had sat in his car for two hours, ‘reading the racing pages and doing nothing.”

She said; “It is just words to fill a silence. This really was the most elaborate part of the cover-up. He needed time to get back out to where Bernadette was left, and he used his phone as an alibi. He gave himself a couple of hours of cover.”

Ms Wilding said that when Sarah Walker gave a witness statement to police it was ‘riddled with lies’.

Ms Wilding said; “Then she was arrested on suspicion of murder. You would have thought that would be enough to compel you to tell the truth - but not Sarah Walker. She persisted, the Crown say, in telling lies.”

This week the court heard Sarah Walker would not be giving evidence during the trial.

Ms Wilding told the jury: “There are a number of consequences of not giving evidence. You have not heard her side of the story - if she has a side of the story to tell.

“There can in reality be only one reason she chose not to give evidence - because in her opinion you would be less likely to acquit her if she did.

“Sarah Walker is someone who sees the truth as an entirely flexible commodity. She was an easy and willing recruit to the plan hatched by Scott Walker.”

The defence closing speeches will be given to the jury on Monday.

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.