PCSO Julia James: 21-year-old appears in court charged with murder

11 May 2021, 11:51 | Updated: 11 May 2021, 16:01

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of PCSO Julia James
A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of PCSO Julia James. Picture: PA

By Daisy Stephens

A 21-year-old man has been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged with the murder of police community support officer Julia James.

Callum Wheeler from Aylesham appeared at Medway Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, after being arrested on Friday and charged on Monday.

He spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

Ms James, 53, who has been described as “fiercely loyal” by her family, died from serious head injuries while out walking her dog.

Wheeler will 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 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."

He said: "I am keeping all options open, it's a huge step forward in the investigation, a breakthrough, that we have arrested somebody."