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Man appears in court charged with murder of PCSO Julia James

·2-min read

Watch: Man due in court charged with murdering PCSO Julia James

A 21-year-old man has been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged with the murder of PCSO Julia James.

The 53-year-old was found dead in Akholt Wood near her home in Snowdown, Kent, on April 27.

Callum Wheeler, from Aylesham, appeared in person at Medway Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Wearing a grey jumper and flanked by two security officers in the dock, Wheeler spoke hesitantly to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

Wheeler was arrested on Friday and charged on Monday.

Julia James death
Patrick James, the son of PCSO Julia James, looks at floral tributes left near her family home (Gareth Fuller/PA)

He was remanded in custody to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday May 13.

Ms James, described as “fiercely loyal” by her family, died from serious head injuries while out walking her dog.

At a press conference held at the same time as the court hearing, Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said no further arrests were currently anticipated.

He said it has been a “hugely challenging” fortnight since the death of Ms James.

He told reporters: “As many of you will be aware, yesterday shortly after 10pm detectives… charged a gentleman, Callum Wheeler, a 21-year-old man who lives in Aylesham, with the murder of Julia.

“Today we continue to appeal for witnesses. I am confident that there were people in the area at the time that we want to speak to.”

Mr Richards said police are not “actively” seeking any further suspects in connection with the death of Ms James.

He said: “I am keeping all options open, it’s a huge step forward in the investigation, a breakthrough, that we have arrested somebody.”

He added: “We are not at this stage looking actively to make any further arrests.”

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