A man accused of raping and murdering a friend whom he was trusted to walk home has given evidence for the first time this week.
Wesley Streete told Stafford Crown Court he “accidentally” killed Keeley Bunker’s death during sex, before putting her body face-down in a brook and covered it with branches.
Ms Bunker, who was 4ft 11in tall and weighed just six-and-a-half stone, was discovered by her uncle later the same day, September 19, 2019, in Wigginton Park, Tamworth.
Giving evidence in his defence, Streete denied deliberately killing childhood friend Ms Bunker.
But he said he lied to the victim’s family, friends and police about what happened because he was “scared” and “embarrassed”.
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.
Keeley ‘went floppy’
Giving evidence in his defence, Streete denied deliberately killing Ms Bunker as he was taken through the allegations by his barrister, Rachel Brand QC.
Streete told the court he and Ms Bunker were headed to Wigginton Park, via Elizabeth Drive, and were “flirting”.
He said Ms Bunker was happy to kiss him, saying she pulled her trousers down to her thigh and seemed “happy”.
Streete, wearing a white shirt, said he and Ms Bunker had sex beneath some trees after they had been seen hugging on CCTV.
“She started flirting with me and teasing me,” he told the court.
“I asked her: ‘Do you want to have sex?’
“She replied: ‘Yes'”.
Streete said he put his arms around her neck as she lay on the ground but denied he forced Ms Bunker to have sex.
He told the court she went “floppy” when she was face down and said: “I realised this ain’t normal. She’s not getting up.”
Streete said he checked for a pulse on her wrist and could not feel one, saying: “She was dead. I started panicking. I was really scared.
“I stood there for a minute and picked her up like a fireman’s lift. I walked to another bunch of bushes.”
Streete was ‘s***ting himself’
On day 11 of the trial, Streete, aged 20, said he “accidentally” killed Ms Bunker after having consensual sex with her in Wigginton Park.
After her death, Streete said he put his trousers, top and shoes into the washing machine as they were dirty.
He denied being the person captured on CCTV running past the Coton Arms pub in Tamworth.
He said he returned to the brook “quite a few times” to put branches over Ms Bunker’s body. He said: “I just stood there. I thought: ‘Why me? I didn’t mean for it to happen. Why am I in this position?’ I was scared and didn’t feel myself. A lot was going on in my head. My head was a mess.”
Streete also said his dog scratched his face when he returned home after Ms Bunker’s death.
He was looking for his lost passport and walked his eight-year-old Staffy dog in Wigginton Park. He said: “Me and my dog were playing and he just scratched me. It was my dog playing around.”
He denied the marks had anything to do with Ms Bunker’s death.
Streete said he was “embarrassed’’ to tell people what happened, which prompted a series of lies.
”I didn’t know how to explain to everyone,” he said.
“I was s*****g myself,” he added.
Streete ‘couldn’t tell anyone what happened’
On Wednesday, Streete was asked about his initial co-operation with Pc Samuel Small over Ms Bunker’s whereabouts.
Jacob Hallam QC, prosecuting, asked him about a comment he made to the officer about being “totally helpful.” He asked the defendant: “You were trying to make your lies more believable?” Streete replied: “I couldn’t tell them the truth about what happened, so that’s why I had to lie like that.”
He said he felt as if he was “getting the blame”, adding: “I was was annoyed by the whole situation. I couldn’t tell them the truth as they didn’t know what I was on about.
“I had to carry on my lies. I couldn’t say: ‘I know where Keeley is’. I was scared, I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone.
“Throughout the whole thing with police – I’m lying.”
Streete was asked why his phone was also shown to be in the area of Tamworth Rugby Club.
He said: “I had to stick to my lie. I had put myself in that position. I just didn’t want to say any more.”
Mr Hallam said it had taken the defendant “hours” to come up with a false version of events.
Streete said: “I couldn’t tell the answers of what happened that night.”
During police interviews, officers told Streete that Ms Bunker’s injuries were not the result of natural causes.
And they said CCTV placed them together, which was not consistent with his account.
Police also revealed there was forensic evidence linking him to the site of Ms Bunker’s body.
Police showed him CCTV of a still just after he and Ms Bunker had left their friend’s house in the early hours of September 19.
They also showed him footage of the pair together outside the clubhouse at Tamworth Rugby Club.
“Even though I was with a solicitor I was sticking with what I was saying,” he said.
Streete later replied “no comment” or that he “couldn’t remember” to various questions.
“I couldn’t tell anyone what happened that night. I’ve never been in that situation before in my life,” he said.
Streete ‘didn’t know how to explain I’ve just killed my mate’
Asked why he didn’t leave Ms Bunker’s body where she died, Streete said: “I’m not going to just leave her there. I just couldn’t. I chose to move her into a different place. I knew I couldn’t tell anyone what happened, so I had to put her in the pond.”
Streete said he didn’t think to pull up Ms Bunker’s underwear and trousers.
“I was scared. I’ve just killed my mate,” he said.
Asked by the prosecutor why he picked up Ms Bunker’s body and put her in a pond, Streete said: “I don’t know. It was just an idea. I just put her there.” He told the court he was “scared” and that’s why he lied.
“I chose that route. That’s what I chose to say,” he said.
“I didn’t know how to explain I’ve just killed my mate by accident.”
Asked if he thought about Ms Bunker’s dignity, Streete said: “I put trees over her so you couldn’t see her naked.”
Streete said he “walked up and down scared” and was “panicking” after the death of Ms Bunker, the court heard.
Asked why he did not try to help her, Streete said: “I don’t know why I didn’t.”
He said she wasn’t moving and denied he was holding Ms Bunker’s neck deliberately, the court heard.
Streete denied “taking advantage” of Ms Bunker or that she tried to walk away from him in the park.
Mr Hallam said Streete “forced himself on her sexually and with his arm around her he killed her”.
Streete replied: “No.”
Mr Hallam said: “You knew you were causing her real pain.”
”No,” replied Streete.
”You had your hand on her neck until she was unconscious. You must have tried to cause her serious harm?”
Streete replied: “No.”
”Or you intended to kill her?” Streete said: “No.”
The prosecutor added: “And you tried to hide her body hoping nobody would find her.”
Continuing to address the defendant, the prosecutor said: “Police kept proving you to be a liar and you are still lying now.”
Keeley Bunker was subjected to a “cruel death” at the hands of a “trusted” pal, a murder trial jury heard on Friday.
Stafford Crown Court heard Mr Hallam tell the court the area where Ms Bunker died was a “dark area of parkland so close but so far away from the people who loved and cared for her”.
Mr Hallam said it was a “cruel death.”
“Cruel because of her age and cruel because of how she died and who took her life from her,” he said.
“Someone who thought he was a friend.”
Mr Hallam said Streete had “breached that trust, who has lied and lied over this dreadful crime”.
He said the death was a result of “sustained pressure” to Ms Bunker’s neck.
Mr Hallam said: “It would have taken seconds of sustained pressure to her neck for her to become unconscious and minutes of sustained pressure to her neck that took life from her. It took time to kill Keeley Bunker.”
He said Ms Bunker tried to break the hold, but died from organ shutdown and blood flow due to the sustained pressure applied to her neck by Streete.