Julia James cops find iron bar as court hears mum 'murder' was 'extremely violent & random' & Callum Wheeler faces trial

A TRAGIC PCSO was killed in an "extremely violent" and "completely random" attack with cops examining an iron bar, a court heard today.

Julia James, 53, was discovered with serious head injuries near woodland in Snowdown, Kent, on April 27.


Callum Wheeler, 21, was arrested at 9.30pm on Friday around eight miles from where the mum-of-two's body was found.

He today appeared at Maidstone Crown Court via videolink from Belmarsh.

No application for bail was made during the brief hearing.

The court was told the attack was "extremely violent" and "at this time it seems completely random" – with police still unclear on a motive.

Prosecutor Martin Yale said there were a number of "outstanding forensic enquiries" including on an iron bar.

The suspect was remanded in custody ahead of a hearing on June 8 at the same court.

A provisional trial date was set for November 29 and no plea was entered.

Police confirmed on Tuesday they are not "actively" seeking any further suspects over Julia's death.



It came after cops 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 seen searching a home in Aylesham over the weekend after the arrest was made.

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.

He was used to recreate the mum's final walk in the woods on Tuesday.

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.


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

Hundreds of cars were stopped 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.


Julia's devastated husband paid tribute to the mum 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 heartbroken family also 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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