Scott Walker was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his stepdaughter, Bernadette Walker, after she claimed he had been sexually abusing her over many years. Authorities still don’t know what happened to the 17-year-old girl, whose body has been missing since 2020. However, the court convicted and sentenced 51-year-old Scott walker for her death.
Also sentenced was the girl’s mother, Sarah Walker, who received six years of jail time after she was found guilty of two counts of perverting the court of justice “knowing or believing” Bernadette to be dead. Bernadette Walker’s biological mother reportedly helped her partner cover up the shocking murder.
According to the police, Bernadette, who was from Peterborough, disappeared in July 2020 after coming clean to her mother that Scott Walker had sexually abused her for years. The 17-year-old girl was sent to Scott’s parents’ house for a few days following the revelation, which her mother reportedly did not believe.
Scott then picked up Bernadette from his parents’ house. Authorities believe it was at this time that the stepfather murdered Bernadette and then called Sarah Walker for help concealing the crime. The body still has not been recovered and Scott Walker refuses to cooperate with police, having insisted in court that he is innocent.
Judge Justice McGowan said in court that Scott’s refusal to cooperate with police and reveal where her body is hidden “means she can’t be shown the respect she deserves.” She also claimed that it is the “cruelest of all,” because “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.”
As revealed in the court hearing, Bernadette’s mother did not believe her when she discussed the sexual abuse. The 17-year-old girl also reportedly wrote in her diary that she had “told my mom about my dad and the abuse. She called me a liar and threatened to kill me if I told the police… what kind of parent wouldn’t believe their daughter?”
McGowan claimed that Sarah Walker “was the guiding mind behind the detail of the plan” to cover up her daughter’s death. The mother is accused of aiding and abetting her partner, whom she was separated from, to ensure the police did not find proof of the murder.
Scott Walker was adamant that the sexual abuse allegations were false. Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins told the court that “we may never know the truth about what Scott did and why, but we do know Bee had made allegations of abuse against him. I still hope we may get the answers we need to be able to find her and lay her to rest.”
Jenkins also encouraged other abuse victims to speak up. She explained that “Bee thought she could confide in her own mother, who should have been able to protect her, but instead she met a tragic end.”
According to reports, however, police had been notified of the alleged abuse prior to Bernadette Walker’s tragic death. Anthony Walker, 21, claimed his stepfather had a history of abuse. He claimed in court that Scott “punched me in the stomach when I was like 18 or 19, but he used to only go for the younger ones because they couldn’t open up about it properly.”
Anthony also said that his step-father “used to hit them and do all sorts – it was crazy. He’d try and emotionally abuse us and I hate to say this ‘cos it makes me seem weak, but it did work on me a lot of the time.”
Bernadette’s brother admitted to the court that “we were working as hard as we could to get him out of the house, but he was very persistent on staying and wouldn’t leave. One time when I was younger, I walked in on him with a knife on my mum’s arm and it was cut all the way down. I called the police, but he took the phone off me.”
Anthony Walker also claimed that his father “didn’t deserve to get out of prison,” which he had previously done after he was convicted of harassment in 2002. Scott Walker also received a warning in 2008 for a breach in his non-molestation order relating to his previous partner, reports claimed. News outlets also learned that in 2012, Scott was arrested for assaulting a boy though the social workers assigned to the case could not reveal information in the case.
Anthony admitted that despite reporting the continuous incidents to police, “it never really went any further.” He said that “every time the police came round, [Scott] would be in the room or around the corner, and she couldn’t really say anything in case they took him away and brought him back because there wasn’t enough proof.”
The Cambridgeshire Police Department said in May 2020 that it received a report from a third party outlining Scott Walker’s domestic abuse and historical rape, though the victim did not disclose any offenses in the report. The department explained that Scott’s previous convictions did not prove it “needed to put any safeguarding measures in place from a policing perspective.”
Despite Scott Walker’s murder conviction, Bernadette’s stepfather did not reveal the location of the body. Detectives have scoured nearby woods and waterways but have found no sign of the missing 17-year-old.
Jenkins, who worked as the senior investigating officer in the case, said that “everybody who has worked on this investigation is invested in it and would like to know what happened to Bernadette and be able to locate her body and give her a proper burial. As investigators you always want every piece of the puzzle and not finding Bernadette is a piece that’s missing.”
She said that “I can’t say whether we will ever find Bernadette or have an answer as to what her final moments were, or indeed where they exactly were but I hope that Scott Walker will provide further information to the team.”
The senior prosecutor from CPS East of England, Nicola Rice, added that “despite a police investigation and search, Bea’s body has never been recovered. We all hope that one day Scott and Sarah Walker will do the right thing and say where she is in the hope that dignity can be returned to her.”