Julia James: Callum Wheeler, 21, charged over murder of PCSO 13 days after she was found bludgeoned to death

A MAN was last night charged with murdering PCSO Julia James 13 days after she was bludgeoned to death.

Callum Wheeler, 21, was arrested at 9.30pm on Friday around eight miles from where the 53-year-old mum-of-two was discovered with serious head injuries in Snowdown, Kent.

He is due to appear via video link at Medway Magistrates Court today.

Julia's body was discovered in Akholt Wood, where she had been walking her dog Toby.

In a statement released last night, Kent Police said: "Detectives investigating the death of Police Community Support Officer Julia James have charged Callum Wheeler, 21, from Aylesham with her murder.

"Julia, 53 was found deceased next to Akholt Wood in Snowdown just before 4pm on Tuesday 27 April 2021.


"Officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate arrested the 21-year-old on Friday 7 May 2021.

"On Monday 10 May 2021, the Crown Prosecution Service authorised a charge of murder.

"Mr Wheeler remains in custody and is due to appear via video link at Medway Magistrates Court on Tuesday 11 May 2021."

Police had released a picture of a man "crucially important" to the investigation who was seen in the area the day after her body was found.

But Kent Police later confirmed they were no longer seeking information about him.

Forensic officers were yesterday seen searching a home in Aylesham as they removed potential evidence.

Julia had left her home with Jack Russell Toby on her usual dog-walking route an hour before the killing on April 27.

The timetable led to fears the mum-of-two could have been followed before she was killed.

Her beloved dog stayed with her body after the attack, which police believe was random.

Assistant Chief Constable Richards said previously the force can't rule out if her killer was someone she came across in her work, a potential dog-napper or if there was a sexual motive.

Julia, who worked for the domestic violence unit, was not on duty at the time of her death or wearing uniform.

A £10,000 reward to catch the person responsible was offered by Crimestoppers this week as police ramped up the investigation.

Officers were seen searching an old coal mine in Kent as they "broadened" their search.

Almost 450 cars were also stopped by police on Tuesday as they carried out road checks in the area.

Locals in the small Kent hamlet were left terrified by the murder as the killer remained at large.

They were urged to stay vigilant and be aware of their surroundings as police kept an "open mind" over the attack.

Her devastated husband paid tribute to Julia with a heartbreaking comment underneath a picture of the pair on their wedding day.

Paul James, 57, changed his profile picture on social media to the loved-up snap of the couple following the tragic loss of his wife.

He also used the "Help us find #justiceforjulia" frame which many people have adopted to spread awareness.

Mr James commented beneath it: "I miss you so much Luvly xxx"

Julia's devastated family previously paid tribute to the "fiercely loyal" mum and gran.

They said in a statement: "There are no words to adequately describe the void left in our lives by the death of our mum.

"She was so much to so many people; a wife, mother, daughter, nanny, sister and a friend.

"Mum was fiercely loyal, she loved with her whole heart and nothing was too much trouble for the people she cared about.

"She had a beautiful smile and was always quick to laugh, she was so naturally funny with a brilliant sense of humour.

"It’s difficult to describe a person in a few sentences, to describe who they truly were is impossible, but the people who knew her will know how kind she was and how she would bring so much fun and life to a room.

"Her loss will be felt by us every moment of every day. She will be so sorely missed. As a family we are trying to understand how we will navigate our lives without her, it seems an impossible task.

"We would like to thank everybody who has messaged and left flowers, the outpouring of love and support from friends, the local community and our policing family has been enormous.

"After meeting with the police we have every confidence that they are doing everything within their power to find the person responsible and I urge everybody who may have any information, however small or insignificant to contact the police.

"You could be helping us get justice for Julia."

Officers are keen to speak to anyone in the area on Monday or Tuesday who may have seen something unusual or suspicious.

Anyone with information should call 0800 0514526 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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