PCSO Julia James death: Parallels drawn with 1996 Lin and Megan Russell murders

  • VIDEO REPORT by ITV Meridian's John Ryall

Senior officers say while there was no evidence of a robbery in the case of PSCO Julia James they don't want to be blinkered and are keeping an open mind to all potential scenarios - including the possible links to the murder of a mother and daughter in 1996 in Chillenden just a couple of miles away. 

Lin and Megan Russell were murdered in that part of Kent back in 1996.

In a news conference yesterday, the striking similarities were raised with the case and the Russell family murders 25 years ago in Chillenden. The man convicted of those murders has always protested his innocence.

Michael Stone was convicted, cleared on appeal, then found guilty at a second trial after a prisoner claimed he'd heard Stone confess to the killing in his cell.  Stone's lawyers have repeatedly challenged the conviction.

The Chillenden murders happened two miles from the remote spot where Julia James attacked while walking her dog was found dead with severe head injuries.

A leading barrister who investigated Michael Stone's conviction for a TV documentary says the Julia James murder squad must consider striking similarities with the attacks of 25 years ago.

As the hunt for Julia James's killer continues, lawyers for Michael Stone are now waiting once again for the Criminal Cases Review Commission to give its verdict on the safety of his conviction.