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Parents of missing teenager Bernadette face murder trial in March 2021

Sarah Walker, 37, and Scott Walker, 50, appeared at Peterborough Crown Court today charged with the murder of Bernadette Walker.
Bernadette Walker2
Sarah Walker and Scott Walker will go to trial for murder in March 2021 (photo: Cambridgeshire Constabulary)

Bernadette, 17, of Peterborough, was reported missing by her mother in July, Peterborough Crown Court heard.

She has not been found and her parents are accused of her murder by joint enterprise.

Sarah Walker, 37, and 50-year-old Scott Walker, both of Century Square in Millfield, Peterborough, appeared in court on separate video-links from Peterborough Prison on Wednesday.

Bernadette’s mother, with her dark hair tied back, held one hand to her face and gently shook as she wept through much of Wednesday’s brief hearing.

She remained seated throughout, wearing a black T-shirt and with a white blanket over one shoulder.

Bernadette’s bearded father, wearing a black T-shirt and with short cropped hair, also remained seated throughout the virtual hearing.

Both defendants spoke only to confirm their identity. They were not asked to enter a plea.

Judge Sean Enright remanded both of them in custody to appear before Peterborough Crown Court for a plea hearing on November 30.

They face a trial at the same court from March 9, with a time estimate of two to three weeks.

Cambridgeshire Police said Bernadette’s parents reported her missing on July 21 after she had not been seen for three days.

The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit has been carrying out searches to try to find her and launched a “no-body” murder investigation on Friday.

Her parents were charged with her murder on Monday.

Police searches for Bernadette are continuing, with officers scouring open farmland near the village of Cowbit in Lincolnshire on Tuesday.

Detective Superintendent Jon Hutchinson said: "Whilst my team have made significant progress with this investigation in the last few days, we are yet to find Bernadette therefore my plea is for anyone who has information on what has happened to her, or where she might be, to get in touch as a matter of urgency."

Anyone with information should contact police either by using the online webchat function, or by calling 101 and quoting Operation Penshaw.

Additional reporting By Sam Russell, PA