Julia James: 21-year-old suspect pictured after appearing in court charged with murder of PCSO

Callum James spotted sticking tongue out as he is seen for first time

Chiara Giordano
Tuesday 11 May 2021 17:25

Related video: Police comb field as Julia James murder investigation continues

A 21-year-old man has appeared in court charged with the murder of PCSO Julia James.

Ms James, 53, was found dead in Akholt Wood near her home in Snowdown, Kent, on 27 April.

Callum Wheeler, from Aylesham, appeared in person at Medway Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning.

Wearing a grey jumper and flanked by two security officers in the dock, Mr Wheeler spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

He was later seen sticking his tongue out at TV cameras as he was led away to a waiting police van in handcuffs.

Julia James murder suspect Callum Wheeler sticks his tongue out at TV cameras outside Medway Magistrates’ Court

Mr Wheeler was arrested on Friday and charged on Monday.

He has been remanded in custody and will appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday, 13 May.

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

Callum Wheeler appeared in court charged with Ms James’s murder on Tuesday

At a press conference held at the same time as the court hearing, Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards 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.”

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

Additional reporting by Press Association