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Julia James murder probe: Dog walks to be held in memory of PCSO and mum killed in Snowdown, Kent


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Mass dog walks are to be held across the country in memory of PCSO Julia James.

The much-loved mum was found dead with serious head injuries on a bridleway near her home in Snowdown, outside Canterbury, a fortnight ago - after leaving home to walk her beloved Jack Russell, Toby.

An image of Julia James, wearing what she was wearing on the day she died, together with her beloved dog Toby. Picture: Kent Police
An image of Julia James, wearing what she was wearing on the day she died, together with her beloved dog Toby. Picture: Kent Police

Twenty-one-year-old Callum Wheeler, of Sunshine Corner Avenue in nearby Aylesham, has since been charged with her murder and appeared in court this morning.

At 10am next Sunday - May 23 - dog owners and walkers left saddened by the tragic news of Julia's death are set to come together for walks in her memory.

It is believed events will be taking place in Kent locations including Aylesham, Ashford, Hythe, Canterbury, Dover, Whitstable and Deal.

Walks are also due to take place in London, Crawley, Taunton, and Northwich in Cheshire, as well as overseas in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

The Aylesham event is due to begin in the village's market square, where dozens of floral tributes have been left in Julia's memory over the past fortnight.

Julia's loyal Jack Russell, Toby, was found waiting beside her after her death. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Julia's loyal Jack Russell, Toby, was found waiting beside her after her death. Picture: Barry Goodwin

A Facebook page set up for the Aylesham walk says: "We walk in memory of Julia James.

"Julia was a daughter, a mum, a wife, a community giver (notably, helping victims of domestic violence leave abusive relationships) and a dog lover.

"There is so much that we can all relate to and so many of us who want to pay our respects to her and her family and friends.

"The aim is simple. A group of friends get together and walk (with or without dogs) at 10am on May 23.

"If you can't make a walk, you can also be part of this by just remembering Julia at that time wherever you are."

Organisers stress that the event will be "a peaceful walk" and not a protest.

Flowers left in Aylesham's village square, for PCSO Julia James
Flowers left in Aylesham's village square, for PCSO Julia James

They continue: "We are walking in respect for Julia and her life, no matter how frustrated we are about the lack of coverage, let's keep this walk about her.

"If you can wear a blue ribbon for her and maybe leave a flower or two in the park or place where you walk that will show others that walk later that we remember her."

From Monday, the Government's lockdown rules are set to relax, allowing up to 30 people to gather outdoors.

Organisers of the Aylesham walk ask that those taking part adhere to government social distancing guidelines.

They add: "If there are more than 30 that want to walk then we will need to split into further groups. We don't want to use police resources up by breaking any guidelines, please help us with this."

Those organising walks in Julia memory are inviting those taking part to use the hashtag #adogwalkforjuliajames in social media posts, to help spread awareness of the events.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

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