PCSO Julia James subjected to brutal attack while walking her dog, jury told

Canterbury Crown Court heard that Callum Wheeler, from Aylesham in Kent, accepts that he killed her but denies murder.

09 May 2022

A police community support officer was ambushed while out walking her dog and subjected to “a brutal and fatal attack”, jurors have been told.

Julia James, 53, was found dead after she had gone out with her Jack Russell dog, Toby, near Ackholt Wood, close to her home in Snowdown, Kent, on April 27 last year.

Jurors at Canterbury Crown Court were told on Monday that Callum Wheeler, 22, from Aylesham in Kent, accepts that he killed her but denies murder.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC told them: “The evidence suggests that her attacker was waiting in the woods for someone to attack and then ambushed her.

“Julia tried to escape her attacker but she was subjected to a brutal and fatal attack.

“She suffered catastrophic injuries and died where she fell.”

Ms Morgan said it is the prosecution’s case “that there is a large body of evidence from a variety of sources that demonstrate that the attacker was this defendant Callum Wheeler”.

She told the court: “Although he denied responsibility for the killing for some time, he does now accept that he was the person that killed Julia James, however he does not accept that he is guilty of the offence of murder.”

Several members of Mrs James’s family attended court to hear the prosecution open the case.

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