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Man jailed for life for murdering step-daughter after she accused him of sexual abuse

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A man who murdered his teenage step-daughter after she claimed he had sexually abused her has been sentenced to life in prison and must serve 32 years before he can be considered for release.

Scott Walker, 51, has refused to tell police the location of 17-year-old Bernadette Walker’s body, which has not been found despite searches. It is also not known how she was killed.

Judge Mrs Justice McGowan, sentencing at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday, said that refusal “means she can’t be shown the respect she deserves”.

Bernadette Walker
Image: Bernadette Walker was last seen in July 2020

She said: “Cruellest of all it’s likely to mean some members of her family and friends will go on hoping she might be alive and might someday come back into their lives.”

Bernadette, a photography student, was last seen alive on 18 July last year when Walker collected her from his parents’ house in Peterborough.

Prosecutors said Walker killed the teenager to “prevent her pursuing her allegations of sexual abuse any further”.

Lisa Wilding QC, prosecuting, said that Walker formed an “unholy alliance” with Bernadette’s mother – his former partner Sarah Walker – to cover up the girl’s death, sending messages from Bernadette’s phone to give the impression she was still alive.

Sarah Walker, 38, was convicted of perverting the course of justice and jailed for six years.