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Callum Wheeler (pictured), 22, used a railway jack – a tool used to lift train tracks – to beat mother-of-two...

Callum Wheeler (pictured), 22, used a railway jack – a tool used to lift train tracks – to beat mother-of-two Mrs James to death as she walked in fields and woodland near the back of her home in Snowdown

The family of murdered PCSO Julia James have revealed their heartbreak after a porn-obsessed loner was jailed for 37 years for battering her to death. 

Callum Wheeler, 22, used a railway jack – a tool used to lift train tracks – to beat mother-of-two Mrs James to death as she walked in fields and woodland near the back of her home in Snowdown. 

He was today sentenced to life in prison at Canterbury Crown Court and must serve a minimum of 37 years.  

Speaking to reporters about the family’s bravery in facing Wheeler over the course of the trial, Mr James said: ‘We are who we are, and we speak from our hearts.

‘To say it was difficult – there’s no words for that.It literally just ripped us all apart, it truly did.’

Her daughter Bethan Coles said: ‘We’re so grateful for everybody and all their hard work getting us to this point today.

‘We’re pleased with 37 years.Although clearly it never brings my mum back, what it does do is keep women safe from him and what he may do in the future.’

A jury of eight women and four men took just 73 minutes to decide Wheeler, also described as ‘angry, violent and strange’, had ambushed the 53-year-old mother-of-two in Ackholt Wood near her home in Snowdown, Kent, at around 2.30pm on April 27 last year. 

He was found guilty on May 16 at Canterbury Crown Court.And today he had to be carried into the dock with handcuffs on to receive his life sentence which he must serve for a minimum of 37 years. 

Wheeler sat with his head bowed as his victim’s family, including her husband Paul James, daughter Bethan Coles and son Patrick Davis, read their emotional victim impact statements.

Her daughter Bethan Coles (pictured outside Canterbury Crown Court today) said: ‘We’re so grateful for everybody and all their hard work getting us to this point today.We’re pleased with 37 years. Although clearly it never brings my mum back, what it does do is keep women safe from him and what he may do in the future’

Speaking to reporters about the family’s bravery in facing Wheeler over the course of the trial, Mr James said: ‘We are who we are, and we speak from our hearts.’ Pictured: The family of Julia James outside Canterbury Crown Court after Wheeler was sentenced today 

Mr James (pictured with his son Patrick) added: To say it was difficult – there’s no words for that.It literally just ripped us all apart, it truly did’

Mr James said: ‘My hopes and dreams were taken. I truly felt I died too.My life has been jolted by the devastation and trauma. We went everywhere together. How do I do these things alone?

‘My life is now empty. I want to know why this has happened. I cannot and still do not sleep at night. What do I do without her?’ 

Her son Patrick said: ‘The one person I would turn to in my darkest hour has now gone.If this individual got 30 years he’d be out the same age as my mum.

‘All my family has been given a life sentence, a life without my mum. There’s no reason he should be released in the same way there’s no release from the pain and suffering he has caused.’

He said: ‘He should never see the light of day again. Why should he?

‘My mum only wanted to walk her dog but had her life ended by this disgusting creature. I will not refer to him as a human being.’

On arrest, Wheeler told officers ‘sometimes I do things that I cannot control’ and ‘you can’t go into the woods and expect to be safe’.Pictured: Julia James 

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Callum Wheeler at Canterbury Crown Court as he his handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 37 years for the murder of PCSO Julia James

He and Mrs James’ daughter told how their mother’s murder has given them a ‘life sentence’.

‘I have struggled to find the right words to describe how it has devastated my life and the lives of my family,’ she said.My life has changed beyond measure.

‘To lose my own parent, the woman I loved the most in the world is truly awful.

‘To know how she was brutally attacked in broad daylight having run for her life is horrific.It haunts me every day of my life.’

Mrs James’ widower repeatedly broke down in tears as he told how ‘my life was finally complete when I married my soulmate’.

‘My hopes and dreams were taken,’ he said when his wife was murdered.

‘I actually felt I died too.’

Sentencing judge Mr Justice Mark Wall said: ‘This was not a spur of the moment attack by you but rather an attack that was thought through and planned in advance.

‘When you ambushed Julia James, she was vulnerable.The attack you launched on her was brutal and vicious.

‘After the attack was over you had the presence of mind to cover up some of the blood on the ground and wrap up the weapon to conceal it.

‘For the murder of Julia James I sentence you to life in prison with a minimum to serve of 37 years.

He added: ‘The victim of your crime was only 53-years-old when she died.A much loved mother to Bethan and Patrick and wife to Paul.

‘Through her role as a PCSO, she had earned a considerable amount of respect from the members of her community.

Julia James, 53, died from head injuries near Ackholt Wood, close to her home in Snowdown in Kent, on April 27 last year

‘It’s obvious that your actions have not only shattered one life but have devastated the members of her family.

‘You have, by your actions, removed that family’s main support and sense of security and wellbeing, possibly forever.’

Speaking after the sentencing Matt Capes, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East said: ‘This is a truly shocking and heart-rending case.Julia James had a right to walk her dog, and to enjoy life’s freedoms, without fear of violence.

‘The result of Wheeler’s callous and cowardly actions has left Julia’s family and friends devastated, and a community shocked by her loss.

‘Wheeler’s action before, during and after the attack left absolutely no room for doubt that he was the man responsible for Julia’s death.

‘We were able to present clear and compelling evidence that proved his intent to kill Julia due to the thorough investigation by Kent Police which included DNA evidence, witness testimony and CCTV footage.

‘Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Julia who have shown courage and dignity throughout the course of the police investigation and court proceedings.’

Speaking outside of court after the sentencing, Mrs James’ family thanked the hard work of Kent Police in bringing the PCSO’s killer to justice.

Her daughter Bethan Coles said: ‘We’re so grateful for everybody and all their hard work getting us to this point today.

‘We’re pleased with 37 years.Although clearly it never brings my mum back, what it does do is keep women safe from him and what he may do in the future.’

A jury of eight women and four men took just 73 minutes to decide Wheeler (pictured), also described as ‘angry, violent and strange’, had ambushed the 53-year-old mother-of-two in Ackholt Wood near her home in Snowdown, Kent, at around 2.30pm on April 27 last year

Ms Cole’s brother Patrick Davis also thanked the police for their dedication to the investigation.

He said: ‘The police – Gavin Moss and his team – and many more people have been absolutely amazing.

‘They’ve left no stone unturned and they got the result we wanted.Obviously it doesn’t change anything but at least women can be safe from Wheeler in the future.’

Mrs James’ husband Paul said the family are ‘happy enough’ with the sentence served on Wheeler today.

Holding back tears he added: ‘It doesn’t change a lot but we’re so proud of our own families and all the people that have supported us – all the villagers and our friends and family.

‘What the police have done for us and the system has worked fantastically – we’re very very grateful for that.I know this guy can’t hurt anybody else – it’s a massive relief for us. If that was Julia’s sacrifice, to save other people, then we’re happy.’

Speaking to reporters about the family’s bravery in facing Wheeler over the course of the trial, Mr James said: ‘We are who we are, and we speak from our hearts.

‘To say it was difficult – there’s no words for that.It literally just ripped us all apart, it truly did.

‘But again, the support we’ve had, even from some of you guys, has been fantastic. We cannot thank these police officers, and the family liaison officers enough.’

Ms Cole said the sentencing offered the family an opportunity to tell the world about her mum and the person she was.

Bethan Coles, daughter of PCSO Julia James, and Mrs James’s husband Paul, outside Canterbury Crown Court in Kent, where Callum Wheeler will be sentenced for her murder. 

She said: ‘In the process it was all about Wheeler all the way along, so it was really important for us to give a sense of who she is – was, should I say.

‘This has been our only opportunity really to do our part and make people realise how important my mum was – how special she was to us.

‘The person – not just the name on a news report or in a newspaper but the role she played in our lives – how it has impacted us and how devastated we are by her loss.

‘I think it was key for all of us.Other members of our family would’ve loved the opportunity as well to say how much we miss her all.’

Mr James added: ‘The people that have got to hear us expressed how much they knew Julia – even though they did not – purely by the way we told it how it is.’

Wheeler was seen roaming around the countryside with the weapon the day before the 53-year-old died, and in the days after as hundreds of police officers scoured the area for clues.

On arrest, Wheeler 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.

A jury of eight women and four men at Canterbury Crown Court took less than one hour and 10 minutes to find him guilty of Mrs James’s murder.

Wheeler, who is being held at Broadmoor high security psychiatric hospital in Berkshire, did not react when the guilty verdict was delivered.

When asked to stand to hear the verdict, Wheeler did not stand himself but was instead held up by members of staff in the dock.

Wheeler was so isolated he spent most of his time in his bedroom, and barely knew his brother.

He had no known friends, few numbers stored in his mobile phone and would spend most of his time alone in his bedroom.

Patrick Davies, son of PCSO Julia James, outside Canterbury Crown Court in Kent, where Callum Wheeler will be sentenced for her murder

Senior investigating officer Det Supt Gavin Moss of the Kent and Essex Crime Directorate, said he was ‘delighted’ that justice had prevailed.

He said: ‘Callum Wheeler has demonstrated that he is an incredibly dangerous individual – reflected by his actions.He subjected my colleague Julia James to the most horrific of injuries.

‘I am reassured, and so should the public be, that Callum Wheeler is now off the streets for a significant length of time.

‘I am immensely proud of the police officers and police staff from Kent Police, and indeed much further afield, who came to our assistance in order to bring Callum Wheeler to justice.

‘I’m absolutely delighted for the family, who today have seen justice prevail.’

Matt Capes, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East extended his sympathies to Julia James’ family and vowed to fight violence against women.

He said: ‘Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Julia James who have shown great courage and dignity throughout the police investigation and these core proceedings.

‘Today Callum Wheeler has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 37 years.

‘I can only begin to imagine the suffering her family and those who knew and loved her have endured as a result of his actions.

‘Whilst we know this suffering will not end with today’s sentencing, we hope it will bring some solace.

‘I also extend our sincere condolences to the officers at Kent Police and credit them for their thorough investigation which, with the dedicated work of the CPS prosecution team, led to Callum Wheeler being found guilty and his sentencing today.

‘Everyone should be able to walk the streets and the countryside safely and without fear of harm.Violence against women and girls in an abhorrent blight on our society and one which we’re determined to eradicate.

‘Women like Julia James and their families deserve justice. We’re dedicated to doing all we can alongside our police partners to ensure we prosecute these devastating crimes.’

The jury heard that Wheeler, who sat in the dock unbuttoning his shirt and staring at the victim’s family, accessed a number of pornography websites in the days before and after Mrs James’ death and looked up rape.

Mrs James had said Wheeler was a ‘really weird dude’ after encountering him one day and avoided the route she saw him on.

But later after feeling safe again returned to walking in the woods.

Wheeler lived with his father and one brother in Aylesham after he moved from London two years before Mrs James died.

Police said he had no job at the time and was not studying after he left school around the age of 15 with no formal qualifications.

Mrs James’s daughter Bethan Coles, 33, said the trial has been ‘overwhelming’.

Describing Wheeler, she said: ‘I think he’s just a vile excuse for a human being.’

She said he ‘clearly is a threat to women’, adding that the guilty verdict is ‘really important for the safety of people in the community’. 

Ms Coles added her mother’s husband Paul ‘made my mum really, really happy’.

Meanwhile, Mrs James’s husband Paul paid tribute to her in a tearful statement after 

Speaking outside court, Julia James’s tearful husband Paul James paid tribute to his wife, saying he was ‘so proud’ of all the people she had helped in her work, particularly victims of domestic violence.

Mr James said: ‘She just helped everybody, she just couldn’t do enough.’

A jury took just 73 minutes to decide Callum Wheeler (pictured), also described as ‘angry, violent and strange’, had ambushed the 53-year-old mother of two

Pictured: The family of PCSO Julia James holding hands outside Canterbury Crown Court in Kent.Paul James (husband, second left), Patrick Davies (son, centre) and Bethan Coles (daughter, right)

He added: ‘She was just amazing, I was so proud of her. The work she did was just amazing, to help so many other people, women who were in danger from men, bad men.’

Kent Police Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: ‘We may never know why Callum Wheeler went out and committed such a reprehensible crime that day but I hope that Julia’s family can take some comfort that he has been found responsible. 

Wheeler, who lived in Sunshine Corner Avenue, Aylesham, with his father John, and has no previous convictions, had accepted responsibility for killing Mrs James on day one of his trial last week but denied murder at Canterbury Crown Court.

The prosecution said the ‘extremely violent and sustained’ attack with a metal, 3kg railway jack was not ‘a momentary or spontaneous act of rage’ but one which he had planned over ‘many weeks’.

Having lay in wait for a lone, vulnerable female, he confronted 53-year-old Mrs James, who was off duty and not in uniform, at a spot where it was said she had seen him two months earlier and had even described him to her husband Paul as ‘a really weird dude’.

He had no connection to the mother-of-two, and offered no explanation for what he had done when questioned by the police. 

Mrs James tried to run away but fell to the ground after either tripping in her wellington boots or from the first blow from the jack.

The court heard as she lay face-down on a bridle path at the edge of a field, Wheeler touched her clothing, including the breast area of her vest top worn underneath a coat and jumper, before repeatedly striking her to her head.

An image of the PCSO in the clothes she was wearing on the day she was killed 

She suffered such severe injuries – her skull was said to have been ‘obliterated’ – that a pathologist described them as ‘completely unsurvivable’ even with immediate medical intervention and among the worst he had seen in his 12-year career.

Mrs James’ body was found about an hour-and-a-half later by a family out on a walk.Her Jack Russell Toby was nearby, still wearing his lead and unharmed.

Her phone, on which she had sent her last message about five minutes before she was murdered, was ringing.

Police searching around the Spinney Lane area on May 6, 2021

Forensic officers at an address in Aylesham, Kent, May 8, 2021

The bloodstained railway jack was found propped against a wall in Wheeler’s bedroom on his arrest 10 days later.

He was seen roaming around the countryside with the weapon the day before the 53-year-old died, and https://bvespirita.com/ in the days after as hundreds of police officers scoured the area for clues.

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

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