During the May trial, the jury heard how Julia, 53, was beaten to death while walking her Jack Russell dog Toby in the countryside near her home in Snowdown. The jury of eight women and four men delivered their verdict on the sixth day of the trial.
Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC told the court in her closing remarks at Canterbury Crown Court: “This defendant was an angry, violent, strange, highly sexualised man.” He has no defence based on his mental health.”
Callum Wheeler, 22, will be sentenced on July 8 at Canterbury Crown Court
Prosecutors claimed that on April 27, last year, Wheeler waited in Ackholt Wood near Aylesham with the intent of killing a lone woman when the opportunity arose. He’d been seen in that area several times before, walking around with the railway jack that he eventually used as a weapon.
Detective Superintendent Gavin Moss said after the verdict: “Julia James, a Kent Police community support officer, was at home on April 27 last year when she decided to take her dog for a walk. It was a dog walk from which she would never return.
“It was our case that she was the victim of a brutal and horrific murder in the area of Ackholt Wood in Kent, between Snowdown and Aylesham, in which she sustained catastrophic injuries. This investigation was quickly designated as a Category A murder investigation, which means it was of grave public concern and would necessitate a significant amount of police resources to identify, locate, and arrest the perpetrator.