PCSO Julia James plaque mysteriously disappears within hours of her killer's conviction

19 May 2022, 12:06

The plaque dedicated to Julia James.
The plaque dedicated to Julia James. Picture: Kent Police

By Emma Soteriou

A plaque dedicated to PCSO Julia James has mysteriously gone missing within hours of her killer being convicted of her murder.

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Callum Wheeler, 22, was found guilty at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday of the murder of the 53-year-old.

Between 6.30pm and 9pm on the same day, the plaque, which features two pictures of the mother-of-two, was removed from Market Place, Aylesham.

It came after a jury of eight women and four men took less than one hour and 10 minutes to find Wheeler guilty of Ms James' murder.

She was beaten to death while out walking her dog in fields and woodland near to her home in Snowdown, Kent.

Meanwhile, Wheeler had been seen roaming the countryside in the days before Ms James' murder, carrying a railway jack which he later used to kill her.

On arrest, Wheeler had told officers "sometimes I do things that I cannot control" and "you can't go into the woods and expect to be safe".

He also told a member of police staff that he would return to the woodland and rape and kill a woman, and that Mrs James had deserved to die.

Read more: Man found guilty of murdering PCSO Julia James while she was walking her dog in Kent

Read more: PCSO Julia James' fight for life captured on Apple Watch as killer denies murder

Julia James was killed while walking her dog.
Julia James was killed while walking her dog. Picture: Kent Police

A Kent Police spokesman said: "Officers in Aylesham are appealing for help following the disappearance of a plaque in memory of PCSO Julia James.

"It is reported that the ceramic plaque, which had been placed near the Miners' Wheel memorial in the village's Market Place, was removed between 6.30pm and 9pm on the evening of Monday 16 May.

"Officers are carrying out inquiries into the circumstances to determine whether any criminal offences have been committed and have released a photo of the plaque as part of their appeal."

Chief Inspector Daniel Carter said: "Local officers remain in the area as part of their ongoing work with the community and I would like to thank residents for their continued support and encourage anyone with information about the plaque to get in touch with us."