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PCSO Julia James murder probe: Police given more time to question arrested man

·2-min read
Forensic officers searched an address in Aylesham, Kent, on Saturday which police confirmed was linked to enquires over James’ death (PA)
Forensic officers searched an address in Aylesham, Kent, on Saturday which police confirmed was linked to enquires over James’ death (PA)

Police have been granted more time to question a man arrested in connection with the murder of PCSO Julia James.

The man, who is in his 20s and from the Canterbury area, was taken into custody at 9.30pm on Friday night. A 36-hour extension granted over the weekend means Kent Police can lawfully hold him until until Monday evening.

A suspect can be held for up to 24 hours before they must either be charged with a crime or released, but police can apply to hold someone for up to 36 or 96 hours if they are suspected of a serious crime such as murder, according to guidance on the gov.uk site.

Police have not yet announced what the man was arrested on suspicion of.

Speaking about the arrest on Saturday, Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said: “We continue to urge anyone with information, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, to contact us.

“If you were in the Snowdown area between 1pm and 4.30pm on Tuesday April 27, please contact us.

“This includes anyone local who may have seen something out of place at the time or who came across someone who made them feel uneasy – such as feeling compelled to cross the road or change the route they were walking.”

Ms James, a warmly regarded police community support officer, was found dead on the outskirts of Akholt Wood near her home in Snowdown, Kent, on 27 April.

The 53-year-old was known for her work helping domestic violence victims, and officers are currently investigating whether her death was connected to her job or if it was a random act of violence.

A post-mortem examination revealed Ms James died from head injuries. She was attacked while out walking her dog Toby.

An image of the outfit she was wearing at the time she died was released by police earlier in the week, in an appeal to the public for anyone who recognised Ms James to come forward.

Kent Police
Kent Police

It emerged this weekend that Kent Police have enlisted specialist profilers from the National Crime Agency to examine the killer’s psychology and motive.

Meanwhile, forensic officers were seen on Saturday searching a new build home in Aylesham close to where Ms James’ body was found.

“A search at a property in Sunshine Corner Avenue, Aylesham, is linked to enquiries being made in relation to the murder of Julia James,” the force said in a statement. “There is no further guidance at this stage.”

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PCSO Julia James: Man in 20s arrested in connection with murder

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