Julia James murder suspect sticks his tongue out as he's led to prison van

The 21-year-old man accused of murdering PCSO Julia James has been pictured for the first time.

Callum Wheeler appeared in court today after being charged with the murder of the 53-year-old mother, who was found dead in Akholt Wood on April 27.

He was seen poking his tongue out as he was led to a prison van after he confirmed his name, date of birth and address in the dock.

Wheeler, from Aylesham, was remanded in custody to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday.

Ms James, described as ‘fiercely loyal’ by her family, died from serious head injuries while out walking her dog near her home in Snowdown, Kent.

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


He said it has 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.’

Mr Richards said 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.’

Ms James was a popular community officer who worked with local domestic violence and abuse charity Rising Sun.

Chief executive Fran Ellis described the mother as ‘kind, caring and generous’.

Ms Ellis said: ‘She was a devoted supporter and advocate for survivors of domestic abuse and would go above and beyond for anyone.

‘I was lucky to meet Julia shortly after joining Rising Sun at the Canterbury DA Forum which she attended regularly to help improve responses to survivors across services.

‘She was warm, friendly and I knew immediately that I could go to her for anything.

‘Her smile was so genuine, lit up the room and made me feel really welcome. This is how she was every time we met, and how I will remember her.’

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