Loyal to the last, Julia James’s pet dog plays its part as PCSO’s final movements are re-enacted

·3-min read
An actress, wearing the same outfit as PCSO Julia James, leads Toby as the pair retraced her steps as she went on her final walk
An actress, wearing the same outfit as PCSO Julia James, leads Toby as the pair retraced her steps as she went on her final walk

Detectives investigating the death of PCSO Julia James have staged a reconstruction of her final walk featuring her loyal canine companion, Toby, the Jack Russell.

Exactly two weeks on from the discovery of her body in woodland in Kent, an actress, wearing the same outfit as the 53-year-old, retraced her steps as she went on her final dog walk.

Watch: Julia James's dog takes part as police reconstruct PCSO's final moments

She set off from Mrs James’s home in Snowdown for the 30-minute walk to the perimeter of Ackholt Woods, where her body was found on Tuesday 27 April.

Dressed in a turquoise waterproof Berghaus jacket and navy tight-fitting jeans tucked into black boots, the blonde middle-aged actress known only as Sue, led Toby on a neon yellow lead through the fields behind Julia’s home towards the woods.

The journey Mrs James took would have seen her leave her house through the back garden gate and turn right onto a weed-covered footpath, bordered by thick woodland on either side.

After around a minute and a half of walking, she exited the woodland into a large farmer’s field, bordered on the far right side by Aylesham Road and on the far left side, Ackholt Woods.

Julia James actress - JULIAN SIMMONDS
Julia James actress - JULIAN SIMMONDS

The actress then headed through the field in the direction of Aylesham, keeping to the perimeter hedgerow which runs along Aylesham Road.

Heading in the same direction, she then slipped through an opening in a hedgerow separating two fields before turning left and following a bridleway along the foliage border between the fields in the direction of Ackholt Woods.

Julia James was found dead in woods on April 27
Julia James was found dead in woods on April 27

The reconstruction ended a couple of metres away from a rectangular area sealed off with police tape at the edge of Ackholt Woods, where Mrs James’s body was discovered by members of the public.

It was a regular walk she took with her pet dog and police said they hoped that by reconstructing the journey more potential witnesses might be encouraged to come forward with information about the case.

The reconstruction took place just a short time after a 21-year-old local man, Callum Wheeler, appeared in court charged with the murder of Mrs James.

He made a brief appearance at Medway Magistrates’ Court and was remanded in custody to appear before Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday.

Assistant Chief Constable, Tom Richards, who is leading the investigation, said he still wanted anyone who had been in the area at the time to come forward as they might have vital information.

He said: "Today I continue to appeal for witnesses. I’m confident that there were people in the area at the time who we are keen to speak to.

"We have an obligation to piece together what happened in the last moments of Julia’s life. The actress will be wearing clothing identical to the clothing worn by Julia that day. Her walk took approximately 30 to 40 minutes."

He added: "Once again I appeal to anyone who remembers anything at all to help us piece together the last vital pieces.

"What we will see today is the actress and Toby leaving the area of her home address and entering the pathway, then exiting that pathway on to the edge of a field.

"We will see her conclude her walk and enter the woodland where she was found.

"We want to make this as realistic and authentic for the public as possible."

He added: "We still have accounts of people in the woods and fields of that area who we don’t think we’ve identified.

"I still think there were people enjoying the beautiful countryside in that area and I appeal for people to come forward. We have had special support from local residents.

 "It’s possible that someone just passing through is aware of those events."

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