Bernadette Walker Murder Trial: Teenager’s mum will not give evidence, jury told
The mum of missing Peterborough teenager Bernadette Walker will not give evidence during the trial, a jury has been told.
Sarah Walker, the 17-year-old’s mum, has been charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to the death of Bernadette.
Scott Walker - known to Bernadette as ‘dad’ but not her biological father - is charged with Bernadette’s murder and perverting the course of justice.
Judge Mrs Justice Maura McGowan told the jury they would be given advice on what Sarah Walker’s decision means in due course.
Bernadette was last seen on the morning of July 18, when Scott Walker picked her up from her grandparents home. In the days running up to July 18, Bernadette had made allegations that Scott Walker had sexually abused her.
Scott Walker claims that Bernadette got out of the car and walked away.
Scott Walker concluded his evidence this afternoon, telling the court he had made no comment to all questions asked to him in police interview because of legal advice he had been given.
Lisa Wilding QC, prosecuting, read out some of the questions he had been asked following his arrest.
Questions included why his phone had been turned off during a midnight trip to Cowbit in the early hours of July 20. During the police interview he made no comment, but he has told the jury he had turned the phone off because the battery was low, and he wanted to charge it.
In police interview he was also asked why Bernadette’s phone had been taken on the trip, and then turned off. During police interview he made no comment, but he has told the jury he did not have the phone, but Sarah Walker did.
Ms Wilding QC said that if Scott Walker’s story was true, he would have been ‘desperate’ to tell police the truth, and how they could find Bernadette.
Scott Walker replied that he had been following the legal advice he had been given, and was ‘scared’ after being arrested on suspicion of murder.
The court has also heard Scott Walker say Bernadette had got out of the car after he pulled up on Skaters Way, and she walked down an alleyway. He said he had taken the ‘scenic route’ from her grandparents as he was heading home, driving down the A15 and stopping to see horses before heading back up the A15 and onto Skaters Way.
He had been asked in police interview where she had got out of the car - which Scott Walker replied ‘no comment.
He also did not include the location in his defence case statement - a document prepared in January, outlining to the court what his defence would be, only saying that she had got out of the car, and despite searching for her, he could not find her.
Ms Wilding said: “I suggest you were trying to keep your options open. You were not offering any explanation, you were just giving the briefest outline, weren’t you?”
Scott Walker replied ‘No.’
Ms Wilding said: “If there was any truth I suggest you would have been calling from the rooftops to tell police, or to set it out in the (defence case statement) document.
Scott Walker said he did not agree.
The court was also shown a number of videos taken from Scott Walker’s phone and social media, including one of him climbing onto the roof of a car. The court has previously heard Scott Walker has a back injury, which was suffered in a road traffic collision.
Ms Wilding said that the videos, along with Scott Walker’s use of a motor bike, showed that his back injury would not have stopped him from being able to ‘strangle or smother’ Bernadette.
Scott Walker said ‘I’m sure she was big enough and strong enough.’
Ms Wilding replied: “You were perfectly capable of smothering or strangling her, and the back injury would not have stood in your way.”
Concluding her questioning, Ms Wilding said; “We have heard you were a man on the edge last summer, and Bernadette’s allegations were the last straw, weren’t they?
“On the morning of July 18 you drove her into the countryside and intended to kill her, didn’t you?”
Scott Walker replied: “No’
Ms Wilding said: “And you did kill her.”
Scott Walker said; “Not at all.”
Finally, Ms Wilding asked: “Do you know where she is?”
Scott Walker replied: “No, I don’t know where she is.”
There was no re-examination from Elizabeth Marsh QC, who represents Scott Walker.
The jury will not be sitting in the trial tomorrow (Thursday), with speeches from the prosecution and both defence teams set to begin on Friday, before the judge starts her summing up of the evidence.
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 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.
The trial continues.