Who is Bernadette Walker?
Bernadette Walker was a teenage photography student who was murdered by her father to silence her claims that he sexually abused her. Jurors were told both her parents then sent messages from her phone pretending to be her and saying she had run away to divert investigating officers.
Walker was last seen alive on July 18 last year when her father Scott Walker collected her in the car from his parents’ house in Peterborough where she had stayed overnight, Cambridge Crown Court heard. Lisa Wilding QC, opening the prosecution case, said Bernadette’s body has not been found.
Teenage student was murdered by her father to silence her claims that he sexually abused her, court hears https://t.co/Gamhe1TxMQ
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 14, 2021
She was also known as Bea.
How old was Bernadette Walker?
Bernadette Walker was 17 years old at the time of death.
Bernadette Walker Parents
Lisa Wilding QC said the girl’s father and her 38-year-old mother Sarah Walker formed an ‘unholy alliance’, in a nine-minute phone call on July 18, to cover up her death. Her mother did not report her missing to police until July 21, the prosecution says.
Ms. Wilding said Bernadette, who wore glasses, had a habit of dying her hair in rainbow colors, was described by friends as ‘something of a goth’ and ‘socially awkward, with many of her friendships online.
Scott and Sarah Walker
‘The prosecution alleges that Scott Walker killed Bea to prevent her from pursuing her allegations of sexual abuse any further. ‘He then enlisted the help of her mother, his wife, to cover his tracks and to provide them both with some time to formulate the next part of their plan.
‘In those hours and days in which they hid her disappearance from everyone and deliberately set a false trail, they achieved their goal. ‘They diverted the investigation into her disappearance and death for sufficiently long and sufficiently well, that any hope of finding Bea’s body disappeared with her.
‘To this day, neither of them accepts that Bea is dead.’
Bernadette Walker Found
Ms. Wilding said that Scott Walker collected Bernadette from his parents’ home between 10 am and 11 am on July 18. ‘When her grandparents said goodbye to Bernadette that morning, it was the last time that they, or anyone other than Scott Walker, saw her alive,’ said Ms Wilding.
‘At 11.23 am on July 18 Scott Walker’s telephone, which was usually in regular use, was off.
‘It remained off until 12.54 pm and the prosecution says that in that hour and a half he killed Bea.’
She said when his phone reconnected to the network at 12.54 pm the first call he made was to Sarah Walker, which lasted for more than nine minutes.
‘As you will come to see from all of the evidence, the only sensible conclusion that can be drawn from that telephone call is that Scott Walker told his wife that he had killed Bernadette and needed her help, immediately, to cover up Bea’s disappearance and death,’ said Ms. Wilding.
‘The story they concocted in that call, and which both relied on from that moment on, even until now, was that Scott had stopped the car on the short drive home to confront Bea about her allegations, that Bea jumped out of the car when he pulled over and that she ran off.
‘Then, that Scott tried and failed to run after her and so returned home without her.
Bernadette Walker Update
She said Bernadette’s parents ‘selfishly and ruthlessly … maintained their lying accounts which were designed to protect only themselves.’ Both were arrested more than six weeks later, Ms. Wilding said.
Scott Walker denies Bernadette’s murder on or after July 18 last year and four counts of perverting the course of justice.
The jury has been sworn in at the start of the Bernadette Walker trialhttps://t.co/K72Qq6b4XI
— Peterborough T’graph (@peterboroughtel) June 14, 2021
Sarah Walker denies two counts of perverting the course of justice.
The trial continues.