Julia James: man, 21, appears in court charged with murder of PCSO found dead near woods after walking her dog

PCSO Julia James died from serious head injuries after taking her dog for a walk in Akholt Wood

A 21-year-old man has been charged with the murder of PCSO Julia James (PA and Kent Police)

A 21-year-old man has been remanded in custody after appearing in court, charged with the murder of PCSO Julia James, who was found dead near woodland in Kent.

Ms James, 53, had been walking her dog in Akholt Wood close to her home in Snowdown, Kent, on April 27.

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She died from serious head injuries.

Callum Wheeler, from Aylesham, appeared in person at Medway Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (11 May).

He was arrested on Friday and large numbers of police, from several forces, were in Aylesham on Monday as the probe into her death continued.

Wheeler is due to now appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday 13 May.

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

He said it had 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.”

Assistant Chief Constable Richards said that the 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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