Bernadette Walker Murder Trial: Teenager told her grandmother ‘she just wanted her mum to believe her’ and ‘she wasn’t lying’ over sexual abuse allegations
Missing Peterborough teenager Bernadette Walker told her grandmother ‘she wasn’t lying’ and she ‘just wanted her mum to believe her’ over allegations her dad had sexually abused her.
Bernadette (17) stayed with her grandparents, Julie and Bill Walker, on the night of July 17 after telling her mum that Scott Walker - not her biological father, but known to her as dad - had sexually abused her over a number of years.
It is alleged that Scott Walker murdered Bernadette, although her body has never been found. Scott Walker denies the allegation, and has said Bernadette ran off from his car as he was taking her home from her grandparents on the morning of July 18.
Julie Walker, Scott’s stepmother, gave evidence at the Cambridge Crown Court trial today - and she said while Bernadette did not want to discuss the allegations with her, she said she was very upset.
Answering questions from prosecutor Lisa Wilding QC, Mrs Walker said Bernadette had been crying, and was very upset when she arrived at their home on the night of July 17.
She said she had been contacted on the 17th asking if Bernadette could stay, and had been told there had been a sexual allegation made by Bernadette against Scott Walker.
When asked if she was told what Sarah Walker - Bernadette’s mum - thought of the allegations, Julie Walker said: “She didn’t believe Bernadette.”
Bernadette arrived at the home in Dukesmead, Peterborough later that night.
Ms Wilding asked Julie Walker: “Did you ask why Bernadette was to come to yours?”
She replied: “Because they thought she would probably open up to someone else.”
She was asked how Bernadette was when she arrived. She said: “She was very upset. She was crying. She said she wanted her mum to believe her.”
Ms Wilding asked her if she had asked Bernadette about the allegations.
She said: “Yes, but she said that she couldn’t tell me as I was a grandparent.”
When asked if Bernadette had said if she was telling the truth, Julie Walker said: “She kept repeating ‘I’m not lying.’”
Julie Walker said she had not seen Bernadette with a phone that night, but she had brought a rucksack with her.
The following morning, Scott Walker phoned her to arrange to pick her up.
When asked how Bernadette was that morning, Julie Walker said: “She was very quiet.”
When Scott Walker came to pick her up, he stayed at the home for around 15 minutes.
Julie Walker said: “She (Bernadette) was still very quiet, but we said cheerio to her and she seemed OK.”
She said she had not seen Bernadette since she left the house.
Later that day, she said he had received a phone call from Scott Walker, saying Bernadette ‘had run off from his vehicle.’
She said he did not say where or why she had run off.
The court was told Julie owned lock up garages with her husband, Bill. The court heard Scott Walker has access to two of the garages, and earlier in the trial, the jury has heard that Scott made a number of visits to the garages over the weekend, including after Bernadette went missing.
Julie Walker was asked if Scott Walker had told her not to visit the garages,or mentioned the garages. Julie Walker replied she hadn’t.
Elizabeth Marsh QC, defending Scott Walker, asked Julie Walker if she and Bill regularly visited the garages.
Julie Walker replied that she would, to pick things up, drop things off and to tidy up by doing weeding.
Ms Marsh also told the court that there were homes overlooking the garages, and asked Julie Walker if people would be able to see the garages - even if the gates were shut - through a window that overlooked the lock-ups.
She said it would be possible.
Ms March also asked Julie Walker about an injury Scott Walker had suffered in a road traffic accident.
Julie Walker said that as a result of the accident he had been registered as disabled, and didn’t work, and when asked if he was awaiting surgery, she said he was ‘due to have something fitted in his back’ before COVID happened.
However, despite his back injury, he was still able to walk, drive and ‘even ride a motorcycle.’
The court has also heard from one of Bernadette’s friends, Lukas Siauciun, who had dated her for a while.
The court was told a message had been sent suggesting Bernadette had been staying at his house after she had last been seen - but he said that had not been the case. He told the court the last time he had seen Bernadette was at college before the COVID lockdown in March.
He said after she disappeared, he had tried to call her - but her phone had just gone straight to voicemail each time.
He also described Bernadette’s use of social media. He said: “She was always on her phone, scrolling through her social media.”
Sarah Walker, who was absent from court yesterday through illness, has returned to court today.
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.