PCSO Julia James' head injuries were 'among worst pathologist had seen', murder trial told

PCSO Julia James

The head injuries sustained by PCSO Julia James were "amongst the worst the pathologist had seen," a court has heard.

Callum Wheeler, 22, is on trial at Canterbury Crown Court accused of murdering Mrs James on 27 April last year while she was out on a dog walk in Snowdown.

On Thursday (12 May), the court was read agreed facts about scientific evidence from the crime scene and the defendant’s possessions, which were examined by forensic scientist Stephen Paddock.

Mrs James’ DNA was detected on a pair of Wheeler’s muddy black Nike trainers, as well as on a metal railway jack with which he allegedly inflicted fatal head injuries on the 53-year-old, the court heard.

Pieces of adhesive from the jack were found in Mrs James’ hair while Wheeler’s DNA was found on her jacket and white vest, the court also heard.

Consultant forensic pathologist Dr Olaf Biedrzycki told the court his post-mortem concluded that Mrs James was “subjected to a very violent and sustained assault to the head” with a heavy object.

He said that in the many years he has conducted such examinations, “the degree of head injuries is amongst the worst that I’ve seen”.

“The injuries were completely unsurvivable even with immediate medical intervention,” he said. “Her death would’ve been very, very quick.”

Asked by prosecutor Alison Morgan QC whether the injuries were consistent with the metal railway jack with which Callum Wheeler, 22, is alleged to have beaten the mother-of-two to death, Dr Biedrzycki responded: “Yes.”

Several members of Mrs James’s family were in court as the medical evidence was detailed.

Mr Wheeler, from Aylesham, denies murder. The trial continues.