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Man guilty of murdering girl who called him father after abuse claims

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A man has been found guilty of murdering the teenage girl who called him her father after she accused him of sexually abusing her “over a number of years”.

Bernadette Walker, 17, was last seen alive on 18 July last year when Scott Walker, 51, collected her in a car from his parents’ house in Peterborough where she had stayed overnight, Cambridge Crown Court was told.

Scott Walker’s phone was then switched off for 91 minutes, during which time he claimed she got out of the car and ran away.

Scott Walker has been found guilty of Bernadette Walker's murder. Pic: Cambridgeshire Police
Image: Scott Walker has been found guilty of Bernadette Walker’s murder. Pic: Cambridgeshire Police

The teenager had previously accused the 51-year-old, who was not her biological father, of sexually abusing her “over a number of years”, and prosecutors say he killed her to “prevent her pursuing her allegations of sexual abuse any further”.

Despite police searches, Bernadette has not been seen or heard from since, and a body has not been found.

Walker told the court that Bernadette’s allegations of sexual abuse were “untrue”.

The prosecution said that Bernadette was sent to stay with Walker’s parents overnight on 17 July “while things calmed down a little”.

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The teenager was last seen alive when Walker collected her on 18 July, and her mother Sarah Walker reported her as missing to police in the early hours of 21 July.

Lisa Wilding QC, prosecuting, said that Walker formed an “unholy alliance” with Sarah Walker to cover up Bernadette’s death.

She told the court he sent messages from Bernadette’s phone to give the impression she was still alive.

Scott Walker admitted two counts of perverting the course of justice by sending messages from Bernadette’s phone after she disappeared, as well as providing false information to the police over her disappearance.

He told the court that Ms Walker was afraid social services would get involved over the allegations against him.

Sarah Walker denies two counts of perverting the course of justice “knowing or believing” her daughter to be dead. Jurors are continuing to deliberate on these.

Bernadette Walker, 17, was reported missing from Peterborough on 21 July. Pic: Cambridgeshire Police
Image: The 17-year-old’s body has never been found. Pic: Cambridgeshire Police

Walker’s phone, “which was usually in regular use”, was switched off between 11.23am and 12.54am on 18 July, Mrs Wilding told the court.

“The prosecution say that in that hour and a half he killed Bea,” she said.

Mrs Wilding said Scott Walker turned his phone on to make a call to Sarah Walker at 12.54am which lasted for more than nine minutes.

She said the only “sensible conclusion” that can be drawn from that call is Scott Walker told Sarah Walker he had killed Bernadette and asked for her help to cover it up.

The story they “concocted” in the call was that Scott Walker had stopped the car on the drive home to confront Bernadette about her allegations, and she jumped out of the car when he pulled over and ran off, Mrs Wilding said.

She said from that moment on Bernadette’s mother and her partner were joined “in an unholy alliance, designed and intended to mislead, to divert and to pervert the inevitable investigation into the disappearance and ultimately the death of Bea Walker”.

A sentencing date has been set for 10 September.