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Seek for a stranger over hero PCSO’s homicide in Kent woodland

Kent Police colleagues of a murdered PCSO are at the moment desperately looking for her killer and a weapon as heartbroken officers paid tribute to their fallen comrade, promising her: ‘Your responsibility is completed. We’ll take it from right here’.

The message from the ‘guys in blue’ was amongst a rising variety of flowers, playing cards and candles left for Julia James, 53, in her dwelling village of Snowdown, the place she was attacked on a footpath whereas strolling her canine after ending her shift.

The mother-of-two, who’s believed to have suffered extreme head accidents, was out together with her Jack Russell terrier who sat together with her physique till it was discovered mendacity on a path on the fringe of a area in Akholt Woo at 4pm on Tuesday afternoon. 

Her neighbours are ‘scared’ {that a} harmful ‘nutter is on the free’ because it emerged she could have been killed by a random attacker.  

Residents of Snowdown, close to Dover, have been urged to be vigilant after Mrs James, who had labored for the police for practically 15 years and had been recommended for bravery for chasing down a shoplifter, was discovered lifeless.

And as officers sealed off fields and footpaths within the space, mourners have left flowers commemoration wheel for these related to Snowdown Colliery within the historic village inexperienced and on the entrance to a bridleway the place Julia took her ultimate journey.

One from colleagues had a word which learn: ‘PCSO Julia James. Your responsibility is completed. Take it straightforward for now we’ll take it from right here! Pondering of your loved ones right now. From the fellows in blue xx’ One other bouquet was left by a pal Becki with a word calling her ‘the kindest individual I’ve ever met’, and thanking her for at all times making her chuckle.

It got here as Julia’s former companion informed MailOnline he fears the ‘love of his life’ could have been killed because of her job serving to victims of home violence. She was final seen by a neighbour leaving the home an hour earlier, with dozens of her police colleagues now finishing up fingertip searches on the route she had taken earlier than she died. 

As Kent Police examine the homicide of one in every of their very own, it additionally emerged at the moment: 

  • Detectives piece collectively Julia James ultimate actions within the hour earlier than she was murdered after leaving her dwelling together with her canine. She is believed to have been working from dwelling and simply completed for the day. There have been no arrests;
  • Officers proceed to go looking woodland for clues as hunt for Julia’s killer proceed. Police are additionally going door-to-door and have visited a traveller web site near crime scene in hunt for witnesses;
  • Julia’s married her husband Paul, a hypnotherapist, in 2017. She has two kids – a daughter who additionally works for the police and a 23-year-old son – in addition to an toddler grandson.
  • Her ex-partner Wayne additionally admits it could possibly be one thing to do together with her work within the home violence unit. He added: ‘It instantly jogged my memory of what occurred with Lin and Megan Russell in Chillenden, which is simply 2.5miles away’; 

Julia James, a serving PCSO for Kent Police, was discovered lifeless on a secluded footpath in Snowdown, close to Dover, at 4pm on Tuesday with locals fearing {that a} ‘nutter is on the free’

Enormous numbers of forensics groups and rank-and-file officers are out within the fields round her dwelling in search of proof and a homicide weapon

Police looking for her killer additionally left flowers thanking her for her ‘responsibility’ and promising they’d ‘take it from right here’

Mourners have left flowers commemoration wheel for these related to Snowdown Colliery within the historic village inexperienced and on the entrance to a bridleway the place Julia took her ultimate journey.

Julia, pictured together with her hypnotherapist husband Paul, labored within the Kent Police home violence staff and had been recommended for bravery after chasing a  shoplifter in her 15 yr police profession. Mrs James’s ex-partner Wayne Davis (proper) revealed how their son Patrick broke the information of her loss of life to their household, calling her ‘the love of my life’

Kent Police haven’t revealed if they’ve discovered a homicide weapon, however with van after van of officers arriving this morning to go looking paths, hedges and woodland, it suggests not.  A specialist canine unit has additionally been introduced in to help search groups within the timber subsequent to the place Julia was discovered lifeless.

The small hamlet of Snowdown, a former mining neighborhood midway between Canterbury and Dover, are deep in grief and shock at the moment, and lots of are additionally fearful. 

Charles Woodgate, who represents Aylesham, Eythorne and Shepherdswell on Dover District Council, mentioned: ‘Individuals within the village are scared there was some loopy nutter within the woods who’s now on the free. They concern it was a stranger who killed Julia and hopefully the police catch them shortly.’

Wayne Davis, who was with Julia for 13 years earlier than their break up in 2009, mentioned he can not comprehend how anybody would wish to damage her – however urged that her work in Kent Police’s home violence unit can also be being checked out in case she was attacked by somebody with a vendetta. 

Talking to MailOnline at the moment, he mentioned: ‘We do not know if it is a random assault or whether or not she was focused by somebody, presumably due to her job. Whoever has finished this must be arrested as quickly as doable as a result of we do not know if it will occur once more. Lots of people stroll their canines down that path, a lot of them alone.’

Household pal Sean Simmonds, who lives reverse Mrs James and her husband Paul, informed how he would typically discuss to her about her job. Mr Simmonds, who was doubtlessly the final individual to see her alive as she walked her Jack Russell terrier Toby on Tuesday afternoon, mentioned he too feared she had been focused via her job.

He mentioned: ‘I used to speak to her about her job fairly a bit, she mentioned she was a PCSO who was primarily workplace and labored with victims of home violence. She favored her job very a lot. I’ve questioned whether or not she was the sufferer of an enraged husband whose spouse she helped go away the household dwelling because of abuse however she by no means informed me that she’d been threatened by anybody or had any grievances with anybody.’

The case has chilling echoes of one in every of Britain’s most infamous homicide circumstances, which occurred within the neighbouring village of Chillenden, Kent, 25 years in the past, when Dr Lin Russell, 45, and her daughter Megan, six, have been bludgeoned to loss of life with a hammer as they walked their household canine. 9-year-old Josie Russell suffered horrific accidents however made a full restoration. 

Michael Stone was jailed for all times for 2 counts of homicide and one depend of tried homicide, however nonetheless protests his innocence, claiming that serial killer Levi Bellfield did it. Stone’s repeated makes an attempt to have his convictions overturned have all failed.  

Julia had discovered love with hypnotherapist Paul James, 57, and the couple married in 2017. She has a son, 23, and her daughter can also be thought to work with Kent Police. It’s understood Mrs James’s household are being taken care of by police household liaison officers. 

She joined the police 15 years in the past after working for Kent County Council and in 2010 acquired a commendation for bravery after chasing down a person suspected of shoplifting in Ashford buying centre. Her patch was the city of Tenterden, and describing herself to the native paper in 2013 she mentioned: ‘I’m a individuals individual and love being locally’.       

A police officer speaks to 2 colleagues from forensics subsequent to the tent the place Julia’s physique was discovered on the outskirts of Akholt Wooden in Snowdown, Kent

Julia was discovered on the sting of this woodland together with her Jack Russell, who had stayed together with her physique

Officers have been on their arms and knees finishing up fingertip searches of paths, verges and timber close to the place Julia was murdered

Officers with forks are looking fields for proof amid fears a random attacker my be accountable and nonetheless on the free

The officers, a few of whom are more likely to have labored on the Sarah Everard investigation, have been following Julia’s route from dwelling

A police care guards the house of PCSO Julia James in Snowdown, Kent, this morning

Massive numbers of police together with groups of specialist forensics officers are within the space having sealed off acres of land to seek out clues about her killer

These flowers have been left for Julia close to the place she died with the word from a pal known as Becki calling her the ‘kindest individual I’ve ever met’

The physique of Mrs James was discovered simply two fields from her dwelling in Snowdown, Kent, on Tuesday afternoon

The case has chilling echoes of one in every of Britain’s most infamous homicide circumstances, which occurred within the neighbouring village of Chillenden, Kent, 25 years in the past, when Dr Lin Russell, 45, and her daughter Megan, six, have been bludgeoned to loss of life with a hammer as they walked their household canine

PCSO’s homicide has chilling echoes of infamous Chillenden killings: Physique was discovered lower than three miles from spot the place mom and daughter have been bludgeoned to loss of life 25 years in the past 

The physique of murdered PSCO Julia James, 53, was discovered on Tuesday on a path on the fringe of Akholt Wooden in Snowdown, close to Aylesham in Kent. 

That is simply two and a half miles from Cherry Backyard Lane within the neighbouring village of Chillenden, the place Lin Russell, 45, was murdered alongside her six-year-old daughter Megan in July 1996.

Ms James was attacked whereas out strolling her canine, with police warning the general public to be vigilant over fears she might have been focused by a random attacker, whereas Dr Russell and her two daughters have been strolling dwelling from a swimming competitors. 

Wayne Davis, who was with Mrs James for 13 years earlier than their break up in 2009, drew a comparability between each tragedies. 

‘It instantly jogged my memory of what occurred with Lin and Megan Russell in Chillenden, which is simply 2.5miles away,’ he mentioned. 

Lin Russell, 45, and her daughter Megan, six have been murdered in Kent in 1996

Michael Stone was later convicted of murdering Dr Russell and Megan on July 9, 1996.

Stone tied them up earlier than blindfolding them and beating them to loss of life with a hammer. Megan’s sister Josie, then 9, survived the brutal assault, leaving her traumatised and unable to talk for a complete yr. 

Stone additionally killed the household canine, Lucy. In the meantime, mother-of-two Ms James’ Jack Russell terrier stayed together with her physique till it was discovered mendacity on a path

Stone was handed three life sentences for the assault 

The random assault shocked the nation and sparked one of many largest manhunts in British police historical past, with Stone, then 37, arrested greater than a yr later and charged.  

He was given three life sentences being discovered responsible at two trials – he additionally misplaced an enchantment. The premise of his conviction was a confession to a fellow prisoner. 

Josie went on to rebuild her life after the tragedy, and in 2009 graduated from Coleg Menai in Bangor with a level in graphic design. She began a greeting card enterprise earlier than shifting on to producing textile landscapes, which now promote for as much as £500 every. 

Stone has at all times protested his innocence and insisted Milly Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield was guilty. He misplaced his newest bid to have his conviction overturned in 2019. 

Wayne Davis, who was with Mrs James for 13 years earlier than their break up in 2009, informed MailOnline he had earlier within the day texted their son Patrick a Fb hyperlink a few girl being discovered lifeless on an area path. 

He requested Patrick if he knew what was occurring and his son messaged again that he didn’t however mentioned there was a ‘load of police’ across the village. Nevertheless, when Patrick returned to the house he shares along with his girlfriend hours later in Dover he was informed the terrible information and rang Mr Davis in tears to say ‘that girl is mum’.

Mr Davis added: ‘It instantly jogged my memory of what occurred with Lin and Megan Russell in Chillenden, which is simply 2.5miles away.’

Search groups are persevering with to scour woodland and fields at the moment as they attempt to discover the killer of PCSO James after she was discovered lifeless on a distant footpath close to her dwelling on Tuesday.

5 marked Kent Police vans arrived on the secluded scene at Ackholt Wooden close to Aylesham, Kent at round 9am as search efforts within the homicide investigation, codenamed Operation Sark, appeared to ramp up.

Eight marked vans and eleven marked and unmarked vehicles have been parked on a 100 metre stretch of the street close to to the place grandmother of 1 Julia, 53, was discovered lifeless on Tuesday.

Dozens of officers sporting police caps and face masks have been seen being briefed whereas holding rakes to go looking undergrowth with.

They lined up earlier than coming into the general public footpath round 9.30am to proceed looking the huge distant woodland for clues.

A bunch of flowers has been left on the scene.

A word hooked up titled ‘Pondering of you’ learn: ‘Dearest Julia. R.I.P. You made me chuckle. The kindest individual I ever met. Love Becki x.’

Julia’s former companion Wayne Davis mentioned of their son: ‘He is solely 23-years previous and he is misplaced his mum. He’s completely devastated. I keep in mind what it was like after I misplaced my mom and I knew it was going to occur as a result of she’d been unwell. I can not think about what he is going via.

‘We do not know any extra about what’s occurred apart from it seems to be like Julia was strolling the canine on the time. We do not know if it is a random assault or whether or not she was focused by somebody, presumably due to her job.  

‘She was a stunning, cheerful individual. All the time glad and smiling. The final time I noticed Julia was in 2017. My mom was unwell and was too poorly to choose up her prescription. I would gone to the native chemist and Julia shouted out my title within the automotive park and we had a catch-up.

‘She informed me that she’d began working at Canterbury police station on home violence. I joked to her ‘what? Giving it out?’ and he or she laughed.

‘I most likely would not have been in a position to get away with that once we have been collectively however she was a very pleasant one who had an enormous caring aspect. She at all times had our son’s greatest pursuits at coronary heart.

‘Whoever has finished this must be arrested as quickly as doable as a result of we do not know if it will occur once more. Lots of people stroll their canines down that path, a lot of them alone.’ 

He later informed the Solar: ‘He [Patrick] was devastated. Julia was the love of my life, however we separated, as {couples} typically do.

‘She was a stunning girl. She was strolling her canine so much. What she did as a PCSO was not only a job – it was a lifestyle.’

‘What I personally discover odd, is it is occurred in the course of nowhere,’ he mentioned. It is a thriller. The police know greater than what they’re saying – they wish to catch who has finished it.

‘For one thing like that to occur, in the course of nowhere – you do not know whether or not it is simply random.’

Mr Davis added: ‘It instantly jogged my memory of what occurred with Lin and Megan Russell in Chillenden, which is simply 2.5miles away.’

The trail the place Mrs James physique was discovered is simply two and a half miles from Cherry Backyard Lane within the neighbouring village of Chillenden, Kent, the place Lin Russell was murdered alongside her daughter Megan in July 1996.

Michael Stone, who was later convicted of the double homicide, additionally left Dr Russell’s nine-year-old daughter Josie combating for all times within the assault. 

Stone attacked the household as they walked their canines within the surrounding countryside. 

A number of police automobiles arrived in Snowdown at the moment and forensics groups have been seen working near the bridal path on which Mrs James’s physique was discovered. No arrests have been made within the case. 

Sean Simmonds, who lives reverse the semi-detached, three-bedroom dwelling Mrs James shares together with her husband Paul, mentioned he noticed her go away the home to stroll her canine at 3pm on Tuesday however didn’t see her return. 

She was discovered lifeless an hour in a while a bridleway on the sting of Ackholt Wooden and fields off the Aylesham Street space of Snowdown, a former coal mining city near Dover.

It’s understood Mrs James had been working from dwelling and had taken her canine out for a stroll afterwards.  

Mr Simmonds, 57, mentioned he was informed by police that the small canine ‘stayed with’ Mrs James following her loss of life and was discovered alongside the grandmother’s physique. 

He mentioned: ‘I used to be sharpening my automotive on the driveway and I appeared up and noticed Julia strolling previous on the opposite aspect of the street with the canine.

‘She was heading in direction of the woods on the again, I would sometimes stumble upon her there after I was out strolling my two canines. I did not see her come again. Round 4pm, the police arrived and began cordoning off the world.’  

Neighbours mentioned Mrs James commonly exercised her canine alongside the nation footpaths close to to her dwelling, which is on a Nineteen Thirties miners’ housing property within the hamlet. 

A pal of Mrs James’ son Patrick Davis mentioned: ‘Patrick is devastated as you possibly can think about. His mum was such a stunning individual, I can not think about who would wish to do her any hurt.

‘I do know she labored as a PCSO and helped victims of home violence.

‘Patrick has thanked associates for his or her assist and sort phrases however he simply wants time to himself for the time being.’

Neighbour Mr Simmonds added: ‘I am a paramedic and I work within the emergency providers so I knew by the quantity of police it was for one thing critical. We came upon simply how critical some time later, it is such a shock. 

‘I used to speak to her about her job fairly a bit, she mentioned she was a PCSO who was primarily workplace and labored with victims of home violence. She favored her job very a lot. 

‘She was at all times fairly upbeat and cheerful. After we did cease to talk it tended to be about our work as a result of we each work for the emergency providers so there was some widespread floor. I do know she had labored from dwelling primarily over the past yr or so due to the pandemic.’

It stays unclear how Mrs James died, however a put up mortem is because of be held to ascertain her explanation for loss of life. 

Close by fields stay sealed off at the moment and a police tent could be seen on a path that runs between a area and woodland

An increasing number of vans of officer swept into the crime scene at the moment because the seek for clues continues

Groups of law enforcement officials seek for clues in woodland near the place the PCSO was discovered lifeless on Tuesday

 Julia James (pictured), a serving PCSO for Kent Police, was discovered lifeless close to woodland in Kent on Tuesday afternoon after ending work

The physique of Mrs James (pictured left and proper with a canine believed to be her Jack Russell), 53, was discovered close to to Akholt Wooden in Snowdown, close to Aylesham, Kent, shortly after 4pm on Tuesday 

Murdered PCSO Julia James together with her present husband Paul. Her son broke the information of her loss of life to her household

Dwelling Secretary Priti Patel has provided her condolences to the household of PCSO James. She tweeted: ‘So saddened to listen to of the loss of life of @kent-police PCSO Julia James. I provide my honest condolences to Julia’s associates, household and colleagues at this terrible time.’

Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards mentioned: ‘Officers are finishing up numerous strains of enquiry to ascertain the circumstances and folks within the Snowdown space will see an elevated police presence consequently.

‘It saddens me to substantiate that the sufferer was a serving PCSO for Kent Police and while there’s a full and thorough investigation underway our ideas additionally stay together with her household, associates and colleagues.’     

He added: ‘It’s vitally necessary that anybody who was within the space on Monday and Tuesday who could have seen one thing suspicious will get in contact with us.

‘We’re significantly eager to talk to those that commonly go to the world who could have seen one thing misplaced and people who drove by who’ve dash-cam footage.

‘We might advise anybody within the space to stay vigilant till the total circumstances of the loss of life are established.’    

Nationwide Police Federation chair John Apter mentioned: ‘Police have launched a homicide investigation after ⁦@kent_police⁩ PCSO Julia James was discovered lifeless in distant Snowdown woods. 

‘My coronary heart goes out to Julia’s household, pal and her colleagues. That is devastating information.’ 

It’s understood Mrs James grew to become a police neighborhood assist officer in 2007, becoming a member of from a Kent County Council studying useful resource centre.

After turning into a PCSO for Tenterden in 2013, she informed an area paper: ‘I’m a individuals individual and love being locally. The individuals in Tenterden are very pleasant.’

She has two kids – a daughter who additionally works for the police and a 23-year-old son – in addition to an toddler grandson.  

Devastated locals say the neighborhood, comprised of roughly 54 homes and a part of the civil parish of Aylesham, has been left ‘shocked’ and ‘reeling’ following her loss of life. 

The lady (above), who had labored as a PCSO for Kent Police since 2007, was pronounced lifeless on the scene

Pictured: Mrs James together with her husband Paul, who married in June 2017 and have lived in Snowdown for round 4 years

Forensic officers arrive on the entrance to a path close to the place the physique of Ms James was discovered on Tuesday

Police automobiles are seen close to to a travellers web site in Snowdown, the place officers spoke to residents as they looked for witnesses

Leah Southwell, 18, mentioned: ‘She was so glad. So bubbly, in case you have been having a foul day she’d be there smiling at you and making an attempt to make you chuckle.’

{The teenager} described how the world was ‘swarmed with police’ after the physique was found.

She mentioned: ‘Final evening about 10pm, I appeared out my window and there have been sirens, blue lights all down my street.

‘At round 4pm-ish there have been two vans, a little bit van and a squad automotive, and there was a hearth engine as properly.

‘Nothing ever occurs round right here. It is simply stunning to be trustworthy.’   

One other neighbour mentioned: ‘I can not imagine it. She was a loving mum and the pillar of the neighborhood. That is devastating. She was a stunning girl. A terrific a part of the neighborhood.’

Paramedic Sean Simmonds, 57, who lives on the identical road as Mrs James, mentioned he solely noticed the mother-of-two strolling her Jack Russell a couple of days in the past.

He mentioned: ‘I can not imagine it. She normally walks her canines within the fields, a little bit Jack Russell. That hasn’t been seen both.

‘It is a such a disgrace.’ 

Mary Bowden, 71, added Mrs James saved herself to herself however appeared good.

She mentioned: ‘She was a really quiet, good woman, very inoffensive. I typically used to see her strolling her canines.

‘Nothing occurs round right here normally. She was only a quiet, beautiful woman.’ 


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