Daughter of PCSO Julia James condemns murderer as 'vile excuse for human being'

Julia James' children pay tribute to their "amazing and mischievous mother".

The children of murdered PCSO Julia James have described their mum as "the best" on the day a man was found guilty of her murder.

It took a jury at Canterbury Crown Court just one hour and ten minutes to reach a verdict at the trial of Callum Wheeler, 22, today (16 May).

Mrs James' daughter, Bethan Coles, 33, a fellow police officer, said: "I feel numb but it is absolutely the right outcome."

She said the family welcomed the conviction but her mother's death has left a huge hole in their lives.

"He has been held accountable today for what he's done but that will never be good enough.

"She was a fantastic woman, full of life. I'd seen her just the day before. I can't get my head around the fact that she is not going to be in our lives any more."

Asked about her mother's killer, Ms Coles said: "I think he's just a vile excuse for a human being."

She also paid tribute to the work of Kent Police in identifying who was responsible for Mrs James' murder.

Julia James was found dead in Ackholt Wood in Snowdown near Aylesham last year

She said: "I have been blown away by the work of Gavin Moss and all the team in major crime, and every single officer that was out searching, the thankless task of going through shrubbery and the woods.

"We are so grateful for all the hard work they did. And the community came together like I have never known before."

Referring to Wheeler's stated intention to kill again, she said: "My mum was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"She has saved lives by losing her life, and I think Kent Police and (prosecutor) Alison Morgan have saved a lot of people he could have gone on to kill."

She added that she felt her mother's presence every day. "I can hear her in the things I say and the things I do. If I'm lucky I'll turn out to be just like her. She wasn't a victim. She was a feisty woman full of life."

Paul James said the couple were "on honeymoon every day" Credit: PA

Mrs' James' husband Paul said the couple were so in love that they would call each other three or four times a day, and still felt like they were on honeymoon.

He said: “My heart would flutter every time I’d see her and I would tell her that every day, every morning, every night, and we used to call each other three or four times.

“We were on honeymoon every day, every day it was still a honeymoon.”

The couple had planned to travel, and had spent their honeymoon in Mauritius, which Mr James said was “just mind-blowing for her”, and for him the memory of seeing his wife’s joy during the trip would “last me the rest of my days”.

Mrs James was found dead with head injuries in Akholt Wood, close to her home in Snowdown, Kent on April 27 last year.

Callum Wheeler pictured carrying the railway jack that he used to kill Julia James on the day after her death

Her son Patrick Davis said his mother had told him she had seen a "weird bloke" walking around and she wasn't happy with how he was acting.

He added: "She was amazing. She would light up a room with her smile. She had such a mischievous sense of humour, she was the best, we would be in stitches in the kitchen over the smallest of things.

"There is a hole there now that is never going to be filled."