Julia James ‘murder’: Killer tells police ‘yous are f****** dead’ during arrest over PCSO’s death

·3-min read

The man accused of murdering PCSO Julia James told police officers “yous are f****** dead” and asked “who called you” when they turned up to arrest him.

Ms James, 53, died after being attacked as she walked her dog in fields and woodland near the back of her home in Snowdown, Kent, on 27 April last year.

Callum Wheeler, 22, from Aylesham, Kent, is on trial at Canterbury Crown Court where he has admitted killing the police community support officer but denies murder.

Jurors on Thursday heard how Wheeler barricaded himself in his bedroom when police arrived to arrest him on 7 May and screamed obscenities at officers when they threatened to break down the door.

PC Ben Redpath, one of the arresting officers, described Wheeler’s behaviour as “active resistance bordering on aggression towards us”, adding: “He told me to f*** off and he called me a c***.”

In police body worn camera footage played to jurors at Canterbury Crown Court on Thursday, loud banging and screaming can be heard coming from behind the bedroom door at the home Wheeler shares with his father.

Wheeler’s father can be heard pleading with his son to open the door and “just sort it out” as the defendant screams back: “It’s not f****** me.”

Callum Wheeler shouted ‘who told you’ as he was arrested by police on suspicion of murdering PCSO Julia James after barricading himself in his bedroom (CPS)
Callum Wheeler shouted ‘who told you’ as he was arrested by police on suspicion of murdering PCSO Julia James after barricading himself in his bedroom (CPS)

Describing the moment he entered the room, PC Redpath said he switched on the lights and informed Wheeler he was being arrested on suspicion of the murder of Julia James.

“His response was I will kick the s*** out of all of yous,” he told the court.

“He said ‘When I get out of here yous are f****** dead, trust me’.”

PC Redpath said he was aware of an item in the room covered by plastic bags - which prosecutors claim was the railway jack used to kill Ms James - but didn’t touch it.

In the bodycam footage, Wheeler can be heard asking “Who called you?” as he is restrained by police officers.

Callum Wheeler, 22, told police ‘yous are f****** dead’ after they turned up to arrest him (CPS)
Callum Wheeler, 22, told police ‘yous are f****** dead’ after they turned up to arrest him (CPS)

When a police officer informs Wheeler he is under arrest for the murder of Ms James and that he was in the area at the time of the murder, he replies: “Why? I haven’t done anything. That’s not even me. That’s not me.”

The jury was also shown footage of Wheeler travelling to Maidstone Police Station in a police vehicle after the arrest.

PCSO Julia James, 53, was allegedly murdered while walking her dog near her home in Snowdown, Kent, in April 2021 (Kent Police)
PCSO Julia James, 53, was allegedly murdered while walking her dog near her home in Snowdown, Kent, in April 2021 (Kent Police)

He can be heard asking officers: “Has my mum said something?”

When an officer tells him “No”, Wheeler replies: “Well someone must have told you, I don’t know how do you find out that...”

Wheeler then asks “why am I being dragged into this for” and is told it is because he was seen at the location at the time of murder.

He tells police: “That doesn’t mean anything. Why don’t you arrest that guy there? Why don’t you arrest one of you?

“Yeah but lots of people were there. There were lots of people there.”

Callum Wheeler in fields near Aylesham, Kent, carrying a blue holdall with what prosecutors claim is the murder weapon poking out (Gavin Tucker/CPS)
Callum Wheeler in fields near Aylesham, Kent, carrying a blue holdall with what prosecutors claim is the murder weapon poking out (Gavin Tucker/CPS)

PC Redpath was questioned by prosecutor Alison Morgan QC about what Wheeler later said to a custody officer when he was being booked in at the police station.

The officer told the court: “It was words to the effect of ‘Sometimes I do things I cannot control’.”

On Thursday, defence barrister Oliver Blunt QC told the jury there would be no evidence on behalf of his client.

The case was adjourned on Friday, the fifth day of the trial.

Judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb told the jury the next hearing would be on Monday “for good reason” but did not give any further detail.

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