Bernadette Walker murder trial: Teenager’s parents made midnight trip to Cowbit day after Bernadette was last seen alive, jury told
Bernadette Walker’s parents made a midnight trip to Cowbit the day after the 17-year-old was last seen alive, a jury has been told.
On the second day of the trial, Lisa Wilding QC told the jury that cell site technology placed Scott and Sarah Walker’s phone at a lock up garage in Montagu Road in Peterborough at 12.27am on Monday, July 20, last year before they went to Cowbit.
Bernadette was last seen alive on the morning of July 18 when Scott Walker picked her up from her grandparent’s home.
The previous day she had told her mum that Scott Walker had sexually abused her over a number of years.
Scott Walker says that on the way home from her grandparents, Bernadette got out of the car and walked off.
Scott Walker (50) denies murder and four counts of perverting the course of justice. Sarah Walker (37) denies two counts of perverting the course of justice.
Ms Wilding, continuing to open the case to the jury this morning (June 15), said ANPR technology tracked Scott Walker’s Mercedes as it travelled along the A16 and A1175 towards Cowbit - but a record showed the car had not travelled along that road since October 2019.
Ms Wilding said: “At 12.27am Scott and Sarah Walker are placed at the lock up garage.
“In the hours that followed both parents travelled to a remote area of Cambridgeshire near Cowbit, on the A16 near Spalding and the A1175 near Market Deeping.
“Police enquiries of records of the areas show that from October 2019 until that date, Scott Walker’s silver Mercedes never travelled on these roads to Cowbit,
“Scott and Sarah Walker’s phone are disconnected from the network, but Bernadette’s phone was also with them, and that did not disconnect from the network.”
Ms Wilding said a number of messages were sent from Bernadette’s phone to friends, and to Sarah Walker’s phone.
The car was seen at the Apple Green Service Station on the A1175 at 1.17am, leaving at 1.19am, with messages still being sent from Bernadette’s phone.
Bernadette’s phone was disconnected from the network at 1.29am.
At 1.32am, Sarah Walker’s phone tracked 33 steps being made over a five minute period.
The phone was eventually switched back on at 3.30am, and at 3.08am they were back at their home in Century Square.
Ms Wilding said: “There is no credible explanation for these two defendants leaving their house in the middle of the night, travelling to a remote area of Cambridgeshire close to Peterborough, to a place where it would have been really easy to dispose of the body.
“Then sending yet more fake messages from her phone. “Clearly, we say, this was a wide opportunity for the disposal of her body.”
The court heard that the previous night, both Scott and Sarah Walker went to the lock up garage - before Scott went out for a number of hours ‘in the dead of night.’
Ms Wilding said: “At 10.14pm (on July 18) cell site data tells us they connect to different sites in the Peterborough area.
“At 10.48pm, they both activate GPS at the lock up garage on Montagu Road.”
Phone data shows steps were recorded at the location, until the left at 11.08pm.
Ms Wilding said: “What was so useful to go to the lock up garage.
“You may consider by this stage, it was becoming necessary, the prosecution say, to dispose of the body.
“If either of these two believed Bernadette had simply run away and was missing, no real actions had been taken to find her.
“They had not reported her missing to police, quite the reverse.
“The fact they travelled to the lock up is telling.
“Firstly it shows they were not looking for Bernadette.
“Secondly it shows they attended a site where her body could have been hidden.”
Scott Walker left the home at Century Square again at 2.36am (on July 19).
The car was seen on CCTV near the lock up, and at 2.47am, GPS data put him at the lock up.
Ms Wilding said: “It can accurately be described he went to the lock up at the dead of night.”
Scott Walker left the garage at about 3am, and then made a journey to the Gunthorpe area at 3.06am - at 3.10am his phone was located at Ulldale Way.
Ms Wilding said: “Whatever Scott was doing in those hours, it ended at half past five.
“At 5.37am he was back at the lock up, where more steps were recorded.
“He made his way home, but not before going to the McDonalds Drive Thru.
“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.”
Scott Walker (50) denies murder and four counts of perverting the course of justice. Sarah Walker (37) denies two counts of perverting the course of justice. Sarah Walker has pleaded guilty to two counts of perverting the course of justice.
The trial continues.