An alleged killer who was “trusted” to walk his female friend safely home instead raped and murdered her before hiding her body, a court has heard.
Keeley Bunker, 20, was discovered by her uncle, lying face-down in a pool in a park in Tamworth, Staffordshire, on September 19 last year, hours after she was reported missing.
She had celebrated her birthday just days earlier and was due to attend a job interview later that day – but never arrived, Stafford Crown Court heard on Tuesday.
The prosecution allege that Ms Bunker, who was just 4ft 11in and weighed six-and-a-half stone, was killed by Wesley Streete, who tried to conceal her body with branches in Wigginton Park, Tamworth.
Streete, also 20, of no fixed address, told the victim’s best friend that he would get Ms Bunker home safely, but prosecutors have alleged he repeatedly lied to her family and the police, claiming she was still alive when they parted ways.
On Wednesday September 18, Ms Bunker had been to a concert at Birmingham’s O2 Institute to see rapper Aitch with a close female friend.
The pair arranged to go clubbing afterwards, with Streete.
Streete was described as “very drunk” at the club, having “three drinks for every one” the girls had, and was downing double vodka Red Bulls.
After getting a taxi back to Tamworth, Ms Bunker’s friend, Monique Riggon, offered her a bed for the night, suggesting she “walk home later in the morning”, said Jacob Hallam QC, opening the Crown’s case.
He added: “But Keeley refused, said she was tired and wanted to sleep in her own bed.”
She told her friend: “I’ve got Wes, Wes lives near me, Wes will walk me back, it’ll be fine.”
Mr Hallam added: “Monique told Wesley Streete to look after Keeley and together Keeley Bunker and the man who, the Crown say, was to take her life, walked away from Monique’s home and off into that September night.”
The Crown’s QC said: “She had been out the night of September 18, into September 19, with two people who she saw as her friends.
“One of them proved to be anything but.
“Although Keeley had left Monique’s home to make her way to her own home early on the morning of the September 19, she had not returned for what should be a walk of perhaps 20 minutes or so across the centre of Tamworth.
“During the course of the 19th she failed to answer her telephone, failed to turn up for a scheduled job interview, and nobody had seen her.
“At about 5.30pm that afternoon, her father, Christopher, reported her missing to the police and searches were organised, mobilising some of the many people who cared for her to try and discover what on earth had happened and where Keeley might be.”
Mr Hallam said it was Ms Bunker’s uncle who, just hours later, made “the terrible discovery”, at the “culmination of what had been a day of mounting dread”.
He added: “Keeley lay in pool of dark water, fringed by trees and bushes on the edge of an area of parkland in Tamworth.
“Her body had been hidden under a latticework of branches taken from the surrounding vegetation.”
Her clothing was in “disarray” with her leggings and underwear pulled down, added the barrister.
Mr Hallam said it was obvious that Ms Bunker, who had turned 20 only 12 days earlier, had been killed and sexually assaulted.
Police quickly identified Streete as the last person to see her alive.
“During the course of the morning, he had been telling people – Keeley’s family, her friends and the police – he had walked with her to the telephone box near his home and then parted company,” said Mr Hallam.
“Although it was a detailed account, it was a lie.
“CCTV was found that showed it was a lie.
“Analysis of the defendant’s mobile telephone showed it was a lie.
“DNA showed it was a lie.
“And the defendant himself admits, now, that it was a lie.
“We suggest the truth was he had taken Keeley’s life and he had sexually assaulted her – she, a young woman, who trusted him.
He added that Ms Bunker was “not alone”, and that police had discovered other women who had been allegedly assaulted by Streete.
Streete 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.
He denies all charges and his trial, expected to last three weeks, continues.