Hundreds take to the streets for walk in memory of murdered PCSO mum-of-two Julia James
HUNDREDS of people took to the streets today for a walk in memory of murdered PCSO Julia James.
The mum-of-two's body was found in Akholt Wood, near her home in Snowdon, Kent, on April 27 after she had taken her beloved dog Toby for a walk.
People gathered at St Finbarr's Roman Catholic Church in the historic Market Square of Aylesham today for a "walk of peace" in memory of the much-loved 53-year-old PCSO.
The church has been adorned with floral tributes to the grandmother-of-one and many people wore blue ribbons on the walk as a mark of respect.
Some even brought their dogs along in a nod to Julia's loyal Jack Russell – who stayed with her body until it was found by a member of the public.
The rain stayed away as the community walked around the edge of the village and took a moment to reflect as they strolled past the sea of flowers.
The emotional scenes saw locals bow their heads in memory of the PCSO.
It comes after Julia's daughter paid tribute to her mum's work and said she feels "so lucky to be her daughter".
Julia had recently been working to support victims of domestic abuse in Kent Police's Vulnerability Investigation Team, based at Canterbury police station.
Posting online Bethan Coles wrote: "I have received messages from a number of women who mum had met during the course of her work; in which she supported victims of domestic abuse.
"It makes me so proud when I hear about how she has helped and supported these women through their terrible experiences. I'm so lucky to be her daughter."
She signed off the tribute with a red love heart emoji and the hashtag #justiceforjulia.
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:
Women's Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, where you call 999 and press ‘55’ if you can’t safely speak.
- Always keep some money or a bank card on you, including change in case you need a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to move towards an exit if you are inside the house and get your phone in case you need to call for help.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other potential weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom.
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available every day from 10am-6pm or email [email protected]
SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
Dover Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke said a proposed law to support victims should be known as "Julia's Bill".
She said Julia was "a popular pillar of our community" who supported women and girls who were victims of violence.
The MP added: "For me and so many of my community, the victims' bill should be known simply as Julia's Bill in recognition of the support she gave to so many people when they were vulnerable and in need."
Callum Wheeler, 21, of Ayelsham, Kent, is in custody after he was charged last week over the murder of Julia.
Wheeler has been remanded in custody ahead of a hearing on June 8 at the same court.
A provisional trial date was set for November 29 and no plea was entered.
Police confirmed they are not "actively" seeking any further suspects over Julia's death.
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