Published: 14:30, 17 May 2021
| Updated: 15:39, 17 May 2021
An MP is calling for a new bill to be named after Police Community Support Officer Julia James, who was killed last month.
Natalie Elphicke wants the Victims' Bill to be named Julia's Bill when it is brought in later this year, as a "fitting tribute" to the work Mrs James did with victims of violence in the Canterbury area.
The bill is an amendment to the Domestic Violence Bill which seeks tougher punishment for perpetrators and greater safety for victims of domestic violence.
Mrs James, 53, who was found dead on a footpath in Snowdown on April 27, worked for Kent Police's Domestic Violence division.
Ms Elphicke, who represents Aylesham in the Dover constituency, told the House of Commons: “Julia James was a serving Police Community Support Officer with Kent police.
"She had served with great commitment since 2008 and was a popular pillar of our community, much loved by her family and friends. In her working life she supported women and girls who were victims of violence.
"It is all the more tragic that she herself died as a victim of a brutal and vicious attack."
She added: “For me and so many in my community, the Victims' Bill should be known simply as Julia’s Bill, in recognition of the support that she gave to so many people when they were vulnerable and in need... Her light will shine through in the weeks and years to come.”
A draft of new amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill was presented today (Monday). These changes include:
Benefits of the bill include ensuring victms are aware of their rights and are more consistently supported and helping them to access the justice system, thus increasing the number of successful prosecutions.
Mrs James' body was found on the edge of Ackholt Wood.
A postmortem examination revealed she had suffered significant head injuries and died as a result of blunt force trauma.
Callum Wheeler, 21, has been charged with murder and will stand trial later this year.
Last week he appeared at Maidstone Crown Court where he was remanded in custody to next appear on June 8, with a trial date set for November 29.