Julia James, 53, died from head injuries near Ackholt Wood, close to her home in Snowdown in Kent, on April 27 last year
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The man accused of murdering a police community support officer (PCSO) was photographed carrying his weapon in a bag the day after her death, a court was told.

Jurors at Canterbury Crown Court were shown an image of Callum Wheeler, 22, walking in fields near Aylesham, Kent, on April 28 last year.

In the picture, taken by gamekeeper Gavin Tucker who worked for nearby Nethersole Farm, Wheeler is carrying a blue holdall – with a long object poking out of it – covered with carrier bags.

Prosecutors say the object was the railway jack that Wheeler used to bludgeon 53-year-old Julia James.

Julia James, 53, died from head injuries near Ackholt Wood, close to her home in Snowdown in Kent, on April 27 last year

Julia James, 53, died from head injuries near Ackholt Wood, close to her home in Snowdown in Kent, on April 27 last year

Callum Wheeler, 22, from Aylesham in Kent, is on trial at Canterbury Crown Court for the alleged murder of Julia James on April 27 last year, which he denies (pictured centre in a court sketch)

Callum Wheeler, 22, from Aylesham in Kent, is on trial at Canterbury Crown Court for the alleged murder of Julia James on April 27 last year, which he denies (pictured centre in a court sketch)  

The jury were shown this image of Wheeler in a field near Ackholt Wood carrying a rucksack with a large object contained in a Tesco carrier bag sticking out the back. The photograph was taken by game keeper Gavin Tucker who gave evidence at the trial earlier today

The jury were shown this image of Wheeler in a field near Ackholt Wood carrying a rucksack with a large object contained in a Tesco carrier bag sticking out the back. The photograph was taken by game keeper Gavin Tucker who gave evidence at the trial earlier today

Dashcam footage from Mr Tucker’s vehicle captured a conversation between Mr Tucker and Wheeler as the defendant walked near to the junction of Pond Lane and Spinney Lane, close to Aylesham.

After being asked what he was doing, Wheeler said he was ‘lost or new to the area’, jurors heard.

Having seen the same man in the area the previous September, Mr Tucker told the court: ‘I knew he was lying.’

As Wheeler hurried away, the gamekeeper called police to report ‘a suspicious fella I have just approached and he’s running off.’

On September 21, 2020, Mr Tucker twice challenged Wheeler while walking in fields near Ackholt Wood and told his colleague to keep an eye out for him, the court heard.

Mr Tucker said from the witness box: ‘It was just the way that he came across to me. Obviously seeing him twice within a short period of time, I didn’t like the way it was.’

Today, prosecutor Alison Morgan QC read a series of agreed facts to the jury, including details of an abandoned 999 call made by Wheeler on April 17 last year

Today, prosecutor Alison Morgan QC read a series of agreed facts to the jury, including details of an abandoned 999 call made by Wheeler on April 17 last year 

Julia James (pictured with her dog Toby), 53, died from head injuries near Ackholt Wood, close to her home in Snowdown in Kent, on April 27 last year

Julia James (pictured with her dog Toby), 53, died from head injuries near Ackholt Wood, close to her home in Snowdown in Kent, on April 27 last year

Mrs James was off-duty and walking her jack russell Toby in fields and woodland near the back of her home in Snowdown, Kent, when she was attacked.

Wheeler admits killing her but denies murder.

Earlier, the jury was told that 10 days before the alleged murder, Wheeler made an abandoned 999 call to police.

When two PCSOs arrived at the home in Sunshine Corner Avenue, Aylesham, that he shared with his father, the court heard Wheeler called them ‘phoney’.

An aerial view showing Ms James's house, the route she walked on the day of her death and the location close to where her body was found

An aerial view showing Ms James’s house, the route she walked on the day of her death and the location close to where her body was found

Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC said: ‘The defendant asked how the police knew where he was. He said it must have been an accident and that he was joking.’

She added: ‘Callum Wheeler then began to say that the PCSOs were not real police and that they were phoney. He said he was not going to talk to them. He told them to get lost, go on their way and bother someone else.

‘The defendant Callum Wheeler was laughing behind the door, saying it wasn’t even the real police.’

Dog handler Pc Scott James told the court he had seen someone matching Callum Wheeler’s description walking in a field near Adisham Road in Aylesham at around 8pm on April 28, carrying a blue bag with something long protruding from it.

Mr James was in the area working as part of searches following the death of Julia James.

The man ran off towards the tree line as the officer turned his car around, so Mr James went to the nearby housing estate to try to find him, but could not.

The court heard that Wheeler had walked through a gap in the hedge and back to his home in Sunshine Corner Avenue, which is on that housing estate.

Wheeler admits killing her but denies murder.

The trial continues at Canterbury Crown Court.  

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