Julia James – Family photo

Tributes have been paid to Police Community Support Officer Julia James who died on Tuesday 27 April 2021.

PCSO Julia James was found next to Akholt Wood in the Aylesham Road area of Snowdown just before 4pm. She had been out walking her dog at the time of the attack having worked from home that day.

A post-mortem examination was carried out on Thursday 29 April and revealed she had died from significant head injuries.

No arrests have been made at this time but detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate have commenced a murder investigation and are examining all possibilities in terms of motive and suspects.

Officers continue to appeal for information and are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 April who may have seen something unusual or suspicious.

They are urged to contact Kent Police on 0800 0514 526. Anyone with video footage can submit it online by clicking here

Tribute

A statement from the family read: ‘There are no words to adequately describe the void left in our lives by the death of our mum.

‘She was so much to so many people; a wife, mother, daughter, nanny, sister and a friend.

‘Mum was fiercely loyal, she loved with her whole heart and nothing was too much trouble for the people she cared about.

‘She had a beautiful smile and was always quick to laugh, she was so naturally funny with a brilliant sense of humour.

‘It’s difficult to describe a person in a few sentences, to describe who they truly were is impossible, but the people who knew her will know how kind she was and how she would bring so much fun and life to a room.

‘Her loss will be felt by us every moment of every day. She will be so sorely missed. As a family we are trying to understand how we will navigate our lives without her, it seems an impossible task.

‘We would like to thank everybody who has messaged and left flowers, the outpouring of love and support from friends, the local community and our policing family has been enormous.

‘After meeting with the police we have every confidence that they are doing everything within their power to find the person responsible and I urge everybody who may have any information, however small or insignificant to contact the police. You could be helping us get justice for Julia.’

Paying tribute, Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said: ‘Julia was a dedicated PCSO who devoted years to serving the people of Kent.

‘She was well liked by colleagues and members of the public showing commitment and passion for her job and we are all devastated by what has happened.

‘She will be fondly remembered and missed by all who knew her.

‘Our thoughts and deepest sympathies also remain with her family, friends and colleagues.’

Julia, 53, joined Kent Police in 2008 as a crime reduction PCSO in east Kent and throughout her career served the local community. Most recently Julia supported victims of domestic abuse in the Vulnerability Investigation Team, based at Canterbury police station.

As enquiries continue into Julia’s death it is expected that officers will remain at the scene at Akholt Wood and the surrounding areas until at least the beginning of next week.

Remain vigilant

ACC Richards added: ‘We understand that people may be feeling uncertain at the moment about their safety following Julia’s death.

‘We advise people in the area to remain vigilant until the full circumstances of the death are established.

‘The safety of our communities remains our priority and we urge anyone who has concerns to speak to our officers who are out and about in the local community or contact us.’

By Ed

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