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Police hunt ‘prowling intercourse attacker’ over homicide of PCSO Julia Jones, 53

Detectives investigating the homicide of their colleague PCSO Julia James are probing if she was killed in a ‘sexually-motivated’ assault – after it emerged a flasher had made an indecent publicity weeks earlier.

Kent Police this morning confirmed it was ‘an vital line of enquiry’ as they revealed Julia, 53, had died of ‘important head accidents’. 

The police employee was discovered on a path on the fringe of a discipline behind her home at 4pm in neighbouring Snowdown on Tuesday afternoon along with her trustworthy Jack Russell, Toby, by her facet.

Police are treating her dying as homicide and concern she might have been killed by a random stranger. Officers investigating the tragedy have been made conscious of one other potential incident earlier this month

Tim Smith, deputy chief constable of Kent Police, mentioned: ‘I can affirm that we’ve got launched a homicide investigation, we’ve got a whole lot of officers engaged on that investigation.

‘I can not go into plenty of element for maybe very apparent causes, however it’s truthful to say there are a variety of various traces of inquiry, we’re working very exhausting to determine a motive. It’s proper to say we’ve got acquired no clear suspects at the moment.

‘We now have enormous groups of very specialist officers engaged on this to attempt to unravel this.’

Requested if police had been in a position to rule out if the homicide may have been sexually motivated, he replied: ‘That can be an vital line of enquiry, I’m not in a position to say both method at this stage. We’re protecting a really open thoughts concerning the motive.

‘Right now I feel we will say as a lot as Julia died from important head accidents.’

‘We recognised with such against the law of this nature there can be plenty of hypothesis, I’m not in a position to say at this stage what we expect have motivated this crime. At this stage it could be flawed for me to invest at this stage.

‘The recommendation I’d give individuals is to verify they know what has occurred. You could have requested the query about stranger assaults, that continues to be a risk, so I’d need individuals in that space to know that and make choices about their on a regular basis lives and the way they stay it,’ he added to BBC Radion Kent.

The feedback got here because it emerged there had been a ‘flasher’ within the village however it had not been reported. One girl advised The Occasions: ‘The sufferer was shocked she did not need take a lot discover. She did not take it additional.’ 

And it got here the day after it was revealed {that a} feminine canine walker was confronted by a prowler in a van one mile away from the place the homicide occurred.

The lady is alleged to have been accosted by a person in a white transit automobile as she walked alongside a quiet path within the village of Nonnington, Kent, two weeks in the past.  She managed to distract him earlier than fleeing and shouting out for assist.

Additionally it is understood PCSOs patrolling the village close to Canterbury have warned girls out strolling their canines to ‘veer from their regular route’ and keep away from the woodland areas after their colleague’s dying. 

A whole bunch of police are scouring the crime scene for clues, with colleagues of the murdered PCSO paying 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 her, in her residence village of Snowdown, the place she was attacked on a footpath whereas strolling her canine after ending her shift 48 hours in the past. 

As Kent Police examine the homicide of considered one of their very own, it has emerged: 

  • Detectives piece collectively Julia James last actions within the hour earlier than she was murdered after leaving her residence along with her canine. She is believed to have been working from residence and simply completed for the day. There have been no arrests;
  • Officers proceed to look 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 might be one thing to do along 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 for 15 years, beginning underneath her maiden identify Ghost, 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’

Police looking for her killer additionally left flowers thanking her for her ‘responsibility’ and promising they’d ‘take it from right here’. One other tribute promised her she would ‘by no means be forgotten’

Mourners, together with cops and PCSOs, 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 last journey

Julia had completed her shift and headed out from residence along with her Jack Russell at round 3pm on Tuesday – her physique, along with her loyal canine sat subsequent to it, was discovered at 4pm

These forensics officer have been seen taking away gadgets from the scene together with what seems to be a blue bag or an merchandise of clothes

Big numbers of forensics groups and rank-and-file officers are out within the fields round her residence on the lookout for proof and a homicide weapon, together with a crew on the left with a metallic detector, suggesting that they might be looking for a weapon like a hammer or a knife

Julia, pictured along with her hypnotherapist husband Paul, labored within the Kent Police home violence crew and had been recommended for bravery after chasing a  shoplifter in her 15 12 months police profession. Mrs James’s ex-partner Wayne Davis (proper) revealed how their son Patrick broke the information of her dying to their household, calling her ‘the love of my life’

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 dying 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 may have been focused by a random attacker, whereas Dr Russell and her two daughters have been strolling residence 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 dying with a hammer. Megan’s sister Josie, then 9, survived the brutal assault, leaving her traumatised and unable to talk for an entire 12 months. 

Stone additionally killed the household canine, Lucy. In the meantime, mother-of-two Ms James’ Jack Russell terrier stayed along 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 12 months 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 transferring on to producing textile landscapes, which now promote for as much as £500 every. 

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

Julia’s former companion additionally advised MailOnline he fears the ‘love of his life’ might have been killed as a result of her job serving to victims of home violence, with dozens of her police colleagues now finishing up fingertip searches on the route she had taken earlier than she died. 

Mrs James’ neighbours are mentioned to be ‘scared’ {that a} harmful ‘nutter is on the free’ because it emerged she might have been killed by a random attacker with locals admitting they’re now too ‘terrified’ to stroll their very own canines after the married mother-of-two died.

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

Kent Police haven’t revealed if they’ve discovered a homicide weapon, however with van after van of officers arriving to look paths, hedges and woodland, it suggests not. A specialist canine unit has additionally been introduced in to help search groups within the bushes subsequent to the place Julia was discovered lifeless and later a crew of males with metallic detectors arrived, suggesting they’re on the lookout for a hidden metallic merchandise like a hammer or knife.  

As officers sealed off fields and footpaths within the space, mourners left flowers on the commemoration wheel for Snowdown’s historic colliery and on the entrance to a bridleway the place Julia took her last journey.

One from colleagues had a notice which learn: ‘PCSO Julia James. Your responsibility is completed. Take it straightforward for now we are going to take it from right here! Pondering of your loved ones at the moment. From the fellows in blue xx’ One other bouquet was left by a good friend Becki with a notice calling her ‘the kindest particular person I’ve ever met’, and thanking her for all the time making her giggle. 

Referring to locals’ claims {that a} feminine canine walker was confronted by a prowler in a van, a spokesman for Kent Police mentioned: ‘It is a stay investigation and we proceed to hold out enquiries to determine the circumstances. 

‘We is not going to be commenting or speculating on any particular person traces of enquiry at the moment.’

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

Charles Woodgate, who represents Aylesham, Eythorne and Shepherdswell on Dover District Council, mentioned: ‘Folks 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’t comprehend how anybody would wish to damage her – however steered that her work in Kent Police’s home violence unit can be being checked out in case she was attacked by somebody with a vendetta. 

Talking to MailOnline right this 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 executed this must be arrested as quickly as doable as a result of we do not know if it’s going to occur once more. Lots of people stroll their canines down that path, a lot of them alone.’

Household good friend Sean Simmonds, who lives reverse Mrs James and her husband Paul, advised how he would usually discuss to her about her job. Mr Simmonds, who was probably the final particular person to see her alive as she walked her Jack Russell terrier Toby on Tuesday afternoon, mentioned he too feared she had been focused by way of 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 residence as a result of abuse however she by no means advised me that she’d been threatened by anybody or had any grievances with anybody.’

The case has chilling echoes of considered one of Britain’s most infamous homicide instances, which befell 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 dying 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 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 obtained a commendation for bravery after chasing down a person suspected of shoplifting in Ashford purchasing centre. Her patch was the city of Tenterden, and describing herself to the native paper in 2013 she mentioned: ‘I’m a individuals particular person and love being in the neighborhood’. 

Wayne Davis, who was with Mrs James for 13 years earlier than their break up in 2009, advised 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 happening and his son messaged again that he didn’t however mentioned there was a ‘load of police’ across the village. Nonetheless, when Patrick returned to the house he shares along with his girlfriend hours later in Dover he was advised 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 right this moment as they attempt to discover the killer of PCSO James after she was discovered lifeless on a distant footpath close to her residence 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 carrying police caps and face masks have been seen being briefed whereas holding rakes to look undergrowth with.

They lined up earlier than getting 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 notice connected titled ‘Pondering of you’ learn: ‘Dearest Julia. R.I.P. You made me giggle. The kindest particular person I ever met. Love Becki x.’

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 along with her Jack Russell, who had stayed along with her physique

4 specialists with metallic detectors and scanning tools arrived within the discipline the place Julia was discovered lifeless 

Officers have been on their fingers and knees finishing up fingertip searches of paths, verges and bushes 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 residence

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 search out clues about her killer

These flowers have been left for Julia close to the place she died with the notice from a good friend referred to as Becki calling her the ‘kindest particular person I’ve ever met’

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

The case has chilling echoes of considered one of Britain’s most infamous homicide instances, which befell 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 dying with a hammer as they walked their household canine

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

‘We do not know any extra about what’s occurred aside 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 beautiful, cheerful particular person. All the time blissful and smiling. The final time I noticed Julia was in 2017. My mom was in poor health and was too poorly to select up her prescription. I might gone to the native chemist and Julia shouted out my identify within the automotive park and we had a catch-up.

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

‘I in all probability would not have been in a position to get away with that once we have been collectively however she was a extremely pleasant one who had a giant caring facet. She all the time had our son’s greatest pursuits at coronary heart.

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

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

‘She was a beautiful girl. She was strolling her canine lots. 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 executed 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 preventing for all times within the assault. 

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

A number of police autos arrived in Snowdown right this 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 residence Mrs James shares along 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 residence and had taken her canine out for a stroll afterwards.  

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

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

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

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

A good friend of Mrs James’ son Patrick Davis mentioned: ‘Patrick is devastated as you’ll be able to think about. His mum was such a beautiful particular person, I can’t 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 mates for his or her help and sort phrases however he simply wants time to himself in the mean time.’

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 severe. We came upon simply how severe 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 all the time 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 frequent floor. I do know she had labored from residence primarily during the last 12 months or so due to the pandemic.’

It stays unclear how Mrs James died, however a publish mortem is because of be held to determine her reason for dying. 

Close by fields stay sealed off right this moment and a police tent could be seen on a path that runs between a discipline and woodland

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

Groups of cops 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 along with her present husband Paul. Her son broke the information of her dying to her household

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

Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards mentioned: ‘Officers are finishing up various traces of enquiry to determine the circumstances and folks within the Snowdown space will see an elevated police presence in consequence.

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

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

‘We’re notably eager to talk to those that recurrently go to the realm who might have seen one thing misplaced and those that drove by who’ve dash-cam footage.

‘We’d advise anybody within the space to stay vigilant till the total circumstances of the dying 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, good friend and her colleagues. That is devastating information.’ 

It’s understood Mrs James turned a police neighborhood help 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 advised an area paper: ‘I’m a individuals particular person and love being in the neighborhood. 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 dying. 

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

Pictured: Mrs James along 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 autos 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 blissful. So bubbly, when you have been having a foul day she’d be there smiling at you and attempting to make you giggle.’

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

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

‘At round 4pm-ish there have been two vans, somewhat van and a squad automotive, and there was a fireplace engine as effectively.

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

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 beautiful 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 number of days in the past.

He mentioned: ‘I can not imagine it. She often walks her canines within the fields, somewhat 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 usually used to see her strolling her canines.

‘Nothing occurs round right here often. She was only a quiet, pretty woman.’ 


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