Bernadette Walker trial: Parents of missing Peterborough teenager set up ‘unholy alliance’ after her dad killed Bernadette, jury told
Missing Peterborough teenager Bernadette Walker disappeared after she told her mum she had been sexually abused, a jury has been told.
Bernadette (17) of Century Square, Millfield, was last seen in July in Peterborough.
Bernadette’s body has not been found, but police believe she has been killed.
Her father, Scott Walker, (50) has been charged with her murder, and four counts of perverting the course of justice.
Her mum, Sarah Walker (37) has been charged with two counts of perverting the course of justice.
Scott Walker (50) is charged with murdering Bernadette on or after July 18 last year, and four counts of perverting the course of justice, while Sarah Walker (37) faces two counts of perverting the course of justice.
One count of perverting the course of justice faced by both defendants - and one by Scott Walker on his own - related to the sending of messages from Bernadette’s phone,
One count faced by them both and one by Scott Walker on his own related to providing false information to police.
They have pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Today Lisa Wilding QC, prosecuting, opened the case, telling the jury that Bernadette had complained that she had been sexually assaulted by Scott Walker shortly before she went missing.
Ms Wilding QC said; “On July 16 last year, Bernadette Walker, a 17-year-old girl who was known as ‘Bee’ told her mother, Sarah, that her father, Scott, had been sexually abusing her over a number of years.
“Mother and daughter spoke all through the night and into the morning.
“Sarah said she did not believe her.
“The following day, Bee went to go and live with her paternal grandparents while things at home calmed down.”
The following day between 10am and 11am, Scott Walker collected Bee, and set off to drive her back to the family home.
Ms Wilding QC said: “When the grandparents said goodbye, it was the last time they, or anyone else other than Scott Walker, saw her alive.”
For about an hour and a half, Scott Walker’s mobile phone was switched off, turning on again at 12.54.
Ms Wilding said: “In that hour and a half, Scott killed Bee. Her body has never been found. She has literally never been seen again.
“At 12.54, when the phone was turned on, the first call was to Sarah Walker - a call that lasted nine minutes.
“The only sensible conclusion is Scott said he had killed Bee, and needed help to cover up the disappearance and death, and to buy time to work out what happens next.
“In that moment, Scott and Sarah Walker were joined in an unholy alliance.”
Ms Wilding said Scott Walker claimed Bee had run off after he stopped the car to confront her about the allegations.
Ms Wildiing said: “In the minutes, hours and days that followed, Scott and Sarah Walker hacked into Bee’s social media accounts, sent false messages from her phone, pretending to be from her, designed to make a false trail.”
Ms Wilding said it was a ‘devious’ plan to explain why they had not reported Bee’s disappearance to police.
She said: “All parental love and responsibility had gone - if it had ever existed.
“Never did they offer to help and find her.”
Bernadette was reported missing on July 21 in an early morning call from Sarah Walker, who told police Bee had run away.
Ms Wilding said: “Since she disappeared, she has not used her phone or social media accounts, she has had no access to money or banking. She has npt been seen at any hospital or surgery. No-one who loved her has heard from her since that day.
“She is presumed dead. It is likely her body was disposed of, probably in the countryside, in the hours that followed the killing.
“To this day neither defendant accepts she is dead.”
Both defendants deny the charges against them.
The case continues...