21-year-old man in court for PCSO Julia James murder

Julia James

21-year-old man in court for PCSO Julia James murder

A 21-year-old man has appeared in court two weeks after PCSO Julia James, 53, was found bludgeoned to death near her home in Kent.

Callum Wheeler was arrested at 9.30pm on Friday around eight miles from where the body of the mother-of-two was found.

He appeared at Medway Magistrates Court today and was remanded in custody to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday.

Julia’s body was found on 27 April after she went out to walk her dog, Toby, at Akholt Wood, and never returned home.

Her dog remained by her side until her body was discovered.

Kent Police last week released an image of a man who was “crucially important” to the investigation, after he was seen in the area the day after Mrs James’ body was found.

The police force later confirmed they were no longer seeking information about him.

Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said today that it had been a “hugely challenging” fortnight and confirmed that police are not actively seeking any further suspects in the case.

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 was involved in this offence.

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

Over the weekend, forensic officers searched Mr Wheeler’s home on Sunshine Corner Avenue in Aylesham near Canterbury to retrieve potential evidence.

Police believe the attack on Julia was “random” and Assistant Chief Constable Richards said that the force cannot rule out whether the killer was someone she came across in her work as a PCSO, a potential dog-napper or if there could have been a sexual motive behind the attack.

Our thoughts go out to Julia James’ family, friends and all those who knew her.

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