The Daily Telegraph

Father killed daughter over sex abuse claims, court told


A FATHER murdered his daughter after she accused him of sexual abuse and formed an “unholy alliance” with his wife to hide the crime, a court has heard.

Bernadette Walker, 17, was last seen alive on July 18 last year, when her father, Scott Walker, 51, collected her from her grandparen­ts’ house.

Two days earlier the photograph­y student had told her mother, Sarah Walker, 38, that she had suffered years of abuse at the hands of her father.

But Cambridge Crown Court heard that Mrs Walker did not believe Bernadette – also known as Bea – and suggested she stay with her grandparen­ts to let things calm down.

It is alleged that after collecting her Mr Walker killed his daughter and hid her body, which has never been found.

It is claimed the couple conspired to cover up the crime by sending messages from Bea’s phone purporting to be from her claiming she had run away. They waited three days before reporting their daughter’s disappeara­nce.

The court heard that Mr Walker had collected his daughter from his parents between 10am and 11am on July 18.

Between 11.23am and 12.54pm his mobile phone, which was usually in use, was switched off. The prosecutio­n alleged that it was during that time that he killed his daughter. When his phone reconnecte­d he made a call to Mrs Walker that lasted for nine minutes.

“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 Lisa Wilding QC, prosecutin­g.

“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.”

From then on, Scott and Sarah Walker were joined, the prosecutio­n say, “in an unholy alliance, designed and intended to mislead, to divert and to pervert the inevitable investigat­ion”.

The couple were arrested six weeks after Bea’s disappeara­nce.

Mr Walker denies murder and four counts of perverting the course of justice while his wife denies two counts of perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.

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