'Dad' Guilty of Murdering Teenager Who Said He Sexually Abused Her - But Could She Still Be Alive?
12:10 GMT 26.07.2021 (Updated: 15:50 GMT 26.07.2021)
Bernadette Walker went missing from her grandparents’ home in the English city of Peterborough in July 2020. She has not been seen since but defence lawyers at her murder trial insisted it was too early to say she was dead.
A man who is facing life in jail for murdering a teenager who considered him her father after she threatened to go public with his sexual abuse of her.
Bernadette Walker has not been seen since Scott Walker, 51, picked her up from her home in Peterborough, in the east of England on 18 July last year.
On Monday, 26 July, Walker was found guilty of murder by a jury at Cambridge Crown Court. Bernadette’s mother, Sarah Walker, admitted two counts of perverting the course of justice.
Mrs Walker has already admitted giving false information to the police and sending messages from Bernadette’s phone after she went missing.
Scott Walker’s barrister Elizabeth Marsh QC told the jury: “Look at the evidence that Bernadette is dead. There is no body, so we say there is no conclusive proof of death."
"The police have conducted a search over a number of weeks, using dogs, divers and drones in every geographical area the police and the prosecution consider there is a chance of the body being disposed. For all the hours and days that search continued, they were ultimately unsuccessful,” she added.
Ms Marsh said Bernadette could be anywhere in the UK or even abroad, living off cash-in-hand jobs like fruit picking, or even begging.
But the jury heard during the trial Walker installed secret cameras in the bathroom at the family home so he could watch Bernadette undress.
The trial heard that on the evening before she went missing Bernadette, who was also known as Bee, had told her mother that Walker had been sexually abusing her.
The girl’s grandmother, Julie Walker, told the trial: "Bee was very upset. She was crying. She said that she wanted her mum to believe her…she kept repeating 'I'm not lying’.”
The following morning Walker picked her up from her grandparents’ home.
The prosecution claim he murdered Bernadette to silence her after she made the allegations.
About half an hour after picking up Bernadette, Walker switched his phone off and it remained off until 12.54pm.
Walker denied killing Bernadette and hiding her body during that 90-minute period and said she got out of his car and walked off down an alley.
In her opening speech the prosecutor, Lisa Wilding QC, told the jury it was believed Bernadette’s body was kept in a lock-up garage for some time after her death.
But in her closing speech she said it was now believed he buried the body in The Fens, a large area of marshy land between Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.