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Murder-accused tells jury of hiding friend’s body in ‘panic’ after sex

Crime | Published:

Wesley Streete is accused of raping and murdering Keeley Bunker, leaving her hidden under branches face-down in a brook.

Wesley Streete

A man accused of raping and murdering a friend whom he was trusted to walk home has told a jury he hid the body in “panic” after “accidentally” killing her during sex.

Wesley Streete told Stafford Crown Court on Tuesday how, after Keeley Bunker’s death, he put her body face-down in a brook and covered it with branches, in the early hours of September 19, 2019, after a night out.

Ms Bunker, who was 4ft 11in tall and weighed just six-and-a-half stone, was later discovered by her uncle, who was part of a search party looking for the missing 20-year-old, in Wigginton Park, Tamworth.

Keley Bunker
Keeley Bunker (Family Handout/PA)

Giving evidence in his defence for the first time, Streete denied deliberately killing childhood friend Ms Bunker.

He also admitted lying to the victim’s family, friends and the police about what happened because he was “scared” and “embarrassed”.

Streete claimed the two were also having consensual sex at the time Ms Bunker died, having “started flirting” with one another on the walk back to her home, before she began “teasing” him.

The 20-year-old gave his account of what happened as he was taken through the allegations by his barrister, Rachel Brand QC.

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Ms Brand asked: “Did you deliberately kill her Wesley – on purpose?”

“No,” said Streete, who faced the jury wearing a white formal shirt, open at the neck, with a black suit.

Asked “how did she die?”, Streete was seen to take a deep breath as he sat in the witness box, replying: “I put my arms around her neck and accidentally killed her.”

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“Why did you tell lies about what had happened?” asked Ms Brand.

Streete, of no fixed address but previously of St Austell Close, Tamworth, said: “Because I was scared.

“I didn’t know how to act and explain to other people how she died because I felt embarrassed in myself and very scared, to explain to police – everyone.

“My mum and dad – everyone.”

Wigginton Park death
Floral tributes near Wigginton Park, in September 2019 (Jacob King/PA)

Streete said the two were walking together, “then started flirting”.

“But it wasn’t like touchy type of flirt or anything, it was just looking at each other, in a flirtatious way,” he said.

Streete was asked at this point if Ms Bunker was or ever had been his girlfriend, to which he replied: “No.”

He claimed that once in the park, he and Ms Bunker had started kissing and were intimate, adding she had seemed “happy”.

Streete further claimed that CCTV footage played to the jury earlier in the trial of the two hugging near an entrance to the park, had shown them “play-fighting”, and not Ms Bunker trying to get away from him.

“She was teasing me,” he claimed.

“Then that’s when I asked ‘do you want to have sex?'”

Streete alleged Ms Bunker’s reply was: “Yes”.

He said they took off their trousers and started having sex, and at some point he had his “forearm around her neck”.

But there came a time when Ms Bunker “went floppy”.

Asked what he was thinking at that moment, he replied: “She was dead.

“I started to panic, pacing up and down, I felt like running because I was scared, really scared.”

Streete, who claimed he checked for a pulse, said it never entered his head to call the police.

Instead he moved the body into bushes, briefly stopping to look for his mobile phone, and then “put her in the pond”.

He stripped off her jacket “because you could see her in the brook and I was scared people would find her”.

Streete left her face-down in the the water, in a state of undress, later claiming “my head was a mess”.

He left the scene, went home and put his clothes in the wash, before sleeping in his bed.

Streete later returned to the body “quite a few times” throughout the rest of that day, to cover Ms Bunker with more branches.

“The last time I was stood there, I was just thinking ‘why me, I didn’t mean for this to happen’,” he said.

“I was just thinking ‘how am I in this position?’.”

Under cross-examination, Jacob Hallam QC, prosecuting, asked Streete if he was “selfish”.

Streete replied: “No – I put her in that pond and that’s something I have to sleep with.”

Asked why he had repeatedly lied, Streete said: “It just got worse and worse, more and more out of hand.”

Streete said he had known Ms Bunker since junior school and the two were “friends” and among a group who would smoke cannabis “about four times a week” in Wigginton Park.

Before the defendant began his evidence, jurors were told Streete had the assistance of a professional intermediary in court, sitting nearby but adhering to social distancing measures.

He is also accused of two further counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault and a charge of sexual activity with a child, against three other victims, all said to have happened in previous years.

Streete denies all charges and his trial continues.

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