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Julia James murder suspect Callum Wheeler to face trial in May

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A 21-year-old accused of murdering a PCSO in Kent will face trial in May.

Callum Wheeler is charged with killing mum-of-two Julia James by inflicting serious head injuries as she walked her dog in Snowdown, between Canterbury and Dover.

Julia James was found dead on Tuesday, April 27
Julia James was found dead on Tuesday, April 27

He appeared at Southwark Crown Court via videolink this morning for a pre-trial review, and was told he will face the charges before a jury on May 9.

He spoke only to confirm his name.

The judge, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubbb, said the trial would be heard at Canterbury Crown Court. It is expected to last four weeks.

Last month, Wheeler denied any involvement in Julia's death, when he appeared at Maidstone Crown Court.

Wheeler, of Sunshine Corner Avenue in Aylesham, was arrested 10 days after Julia, 53, was found dead on April 27 this year.

Julia James loved her job as a PCSO (47999270)
Julia James loved her job as a PCSO (47999270)

The mum-of-two's body was discovered close to Ackholt Wood, about 400 metres from her home in the hamlet of Snowdown, near Canterbury.

A trial had been set to scheduled to begin at Canterbury Crown Court today, but has been put back six months.

Wheeler has been remanded in custody until his next court appearance on January 17.

Julia, who was found with her Jack Russell by her side, was a Police Community Support Officer who worked with the domestic violence unit at Canterbury police station.

She had been working from home on the day of her death.

A post-mortem investigation revealed she suffered "significant head injuries", sparking a widespread hunt for her killer.

Officers spent weeks scouring land in Snowdown and days in Sunshine Corner Avenue, where Wheeler's home was cordoned off.

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