PCSO 'killer who beat Julia James to death with railway jack planned lone-female murder for WEEKS’

A MAN who is accused of beating a police community support officer to death with a railway jack had planned the brutal murder of a "lone female for weeks", a court has heard.

Callum Wheeler, 22, from Aylesham in Kent is on trial at Canterbury Crown Court, accused of murdering PCSO Julia James who had been walking her dog.



Prosecutors alleged that Wheeler waited in Ackholt Wood near Aylesham on April 27 last year and intended to kill a lone woman when he got the chance.

Making her closing speech on Monday, prosecutor Alison Morgan QC told the court: "He knew those woods, members of the jury.

"He knew that people walked dogs in those woods, he knew that if he waited for the right moment there would be a lone female when nobody else was around, when he could commit this attack."

She added how the attack on the 53-year-old from Snowdown in Kent was "not a momentary and spontaneous act of violence by this defendant".

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He had instead planned the attack "over many days and weeks" and what he intended was "clear and obvious", the QC added.

Wheeler denies murder but has admitted killing Mrs James and "has no mental health defence available to to him", Ms Morgan said.

In a chilling account of mum-of-two's final moments, the jury heard that Wheeler "hit her head repeatedly".

The 22-year-old also "intended to cause her at least really serious harm".

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Ms Morgan told the jury: "Before, during and after this brutal attack, there is the clearest possible evidence of what this defendant intended.

The prosecutor said there was not just one blow but "it was again and again and again".

She added: "How could he have intended anything else but to cause her at least really serious harm?"

Mrs James had some of the most serious head injuries ever seen by the pathologist involved in the case, Ms Morgan revealed.

The prosecutor said "there is no mental health defence available to him".

Ms Morgan said that when Mrs James saw Wheeler she "ran for her life to get away from him", adding: "No doubt as fast as she possibly could, wearing wellingtons, caught by surprise, her heart rate surging."

It was again and again and again

The court heard how Julia James' soaring heart rate was picked up by her Apple smart watch which recorded her final pulses.

She told jurors it was an attack "involving stages", the defendant allegedly handling her body before "repeated blows to her head".

In the moments after Mrs James's death, Wheeler began thinking about how to cover it up, the court was told.

Ms Morgan said: "Thinking about covering up the blood that he could see next to her head.

"And he was thinking about how he could get away from the scene, how he could cover up the weapon."

The railway jack was wrapped in plastic bags soon after Mrs James's death, the court heard.

SPOTTED

Wheeler had been seen in the murder location a number of times before and had walked around the area carrying the railway jack that he ultimately used as a weapon.

Wheeler had been pictured walking on Ratling Road near the murder site hours before the murder.

While chilling images later emerged showing Wheeler strolling along a road minutes after the PCSO was beaten to death.

The CCTV stills from a bus and lorry show Wheeler donning a white cap and jeans and wandering along Adisham Road near the murder site after allegedly murdering the Mrs James.

Prosecution say the images – taken at 3:19pm on April, 2017 minutes after the murder – also show the 3kg railway jack he had used to bludgeon the mother-of-two.

The alleged murder weapon appears to be protruding out a bag from multiple angles from CCTV images taken from a bus and lorry.

Referring to the railway jack, Ms Morgan said: "Where he got it from is a secret known only to him."

He later began "game-playing" in the days after the attack, running away when challenged by local gamekeeper Gavin Tucker.

Mr Tucker then took a photo of Wheeler walking around with the railway jack covered in a Tesco carrier bag in fields on Aylesham and Nethersole Farms near the village of Snowdown in Kent.

Wheeler also legged it when spotted in a field by a police officer.

Wheeler had searched for pornography and the term rape on his computer in the days before the killing, the jury heard.

He also searched for news articles about the investigation.

On arrest, Wheeler exposed himself to female officers and tried to masturbate in front of them, telling one member of staff that Mrs James "deserved to die", the court heard.

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He also said that he would go back to the woods and rape and kill a woman, it was claimed.

The trial continues.



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