Home Kent News Julia James murder suspect appears in court for first time

Julia James murder suspect appears in court for first time

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Original article from Kent Live

Callum Wheeler has appeared at Medway Magistrates’ Court charged with the murder of PCSO Julia James.

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

The 21-year-old man was remanded in custody after his appearance this morning (May 10).

He spoke only to confirm his name and address.

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Mr Wheeler is set to appear in at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday (May 13).

It's now been two weeks since the body of Kent Police PCSO Julia James was found in Akholt Wood between Aylesham and Snowdown.

Kent Police confirmed that Mr Wheeler had been charged with the murder of the PCSO late on Monday (May 10).

He was charged after detectives were given more time to question him in connection with the death of the police community support officer.

A number of searches have been taking place in and around Akholt Wood and Snowdown today , and at a home in Aylesham.

Ms James was off-duty when she was killed, and her dog stayed next to her body until she was found, police said previously.

Police officers searching grassland

The mum was described as “fiercely loyal” by her heartbroken family.

Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said it has been a “hugely challenging” fortnight since the death of PCSO Julia 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.

A press conference was held in Aylesham after a man, 21, was charged with the murder of Julia James

“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 Julia 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.

“I have no information to suggest at this stage that anyone else involved in this offence.

“We are not at this stage looking actively to make any further arrests."

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

It has been two weeks since Julia James' body was found in Akholt Woods in Aylesham

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

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

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

Original Article