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Murdered PCSO Julia James laid to rest in emotional funeral as dozens of cops pay tribute

MURDERED PCSO Julia James was today given a guard of honour before she is laid to rest in an emotional funeral.

The 53-year-old was bludgeoned to death near woodland in Snowdown, Kent, on April 27.

@KatyaKMTV/KMTV

Police line the streets to honour Julia James[/caption]

@SimonJonesNews/BBC

A hearse is driven through the guard of honour[/caption]

Julia James, 53, was found dead next to Ackholt Wood in Snowdown on Tuesday April 27
Julia James, 53, was found dead next to Ackholt Wood in Snowdown on Tuesday April 27

A private funeral for Julia is taking place today at Canterbury Cathedral for her loved ones to say goodbye.

The PCSO, who worked with domestic violence victims at Kent Police, was given a Guard of Honour outside Canterbury Police Station.

Well-wishers also lined the streets near to the sleepy village where Julia lived to say their goodbyes.

Mourners had been asked to wear blue in a nod to Julia’s brave work with the police.

Julia is being laid to rest at Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral/Youtube
PA

Her police hat can be seen on her coffin[/caption]

The PCSO is being laid to rest today
@amandaakass/BBC South East

Mourners line the streets in Kent today[/caption]

@amandaakass/BBC South East

Flowers and balloons left for the mum-of-two[/caption]

A hearse carries Julia’s coffin to the service

Julia’s daughter Bethan Coles teared up as she read a poignant poem at the service, which is being livestreamed.

Her son Patrick Davis read a eulogy as flags at police and council buildings in Kent were flown at half mast.

Bethan earlier urged the community to “come together once more” ahead of the funeral.

She wrote on Facebook: “It would be lovely to see the community come together once more; so if you wish to gather in the Market Square or line the streets for a final farewell please do so!

“There will be a small private wake however the Ratling will be open for those wishing to have a drink in my Mum’s memory and have kindly offered to open early and show the service on their big screen should anyone wish to see it.”

A police hat could be seen placed on Julia’s coffin as it was carried into the cathedral today.

Her cousin and best pal Tammy Winstone said Julia had the “most wicked and naughty sense of humour and always left you with a smile”.

In a eulogy read at the service, she said she was “feisty” when she was younger but “certainly wasn’t a push over” as she got older.

Ms Winstone also said Julia had been “at the peak of happiness and health” before her death.

While Temporary Det Supt Gavin Moss said Julia was a “truly caring, wonderful public servant and person”, who “always showed Kent Police in its finest light”.

The order of service for Julia’s funeral

Julia had left her home with Jack Russell Toby on her usual dog-walking route an hour before the killing on April 27.

Her beloved dog stayed with her body after the attack, which police believe was random.

Julia was not on duty at the time of her death or wearing uniform.

Callum Wheeler, 21, was arrested around eight miles from where the mum-of-two’s body was found and later charged with murder.

He has been remanded in custody with a provisional trial date was set for November 29.

A court was told the attack was “extremely violent” and “at this time it seems completely random” – with police still unclear on a motive.

Cops have confirmed they are not “actively” seeking any further suspects over Julia’s death.

‘FIERCELY LOYAL’

Her heartbroken family previously paid tribute to the “fiercely loyal” mum and gran.

They said in a statement: “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.”

PA

Julia was discovered dead with loyal dog Toby by her side[/caption]

Julia's daughter Bethan has said she is 'so proud' of her mum
Julia’s daughter Bethan has said she is ‘so proud’ of her mum
The PCSO worked in the domestic violence unit
PA

Many have paid emotional tribute to the much-loved mum, who was seen as a pillar of the community[/caption]

Callum Wheeler appeared in court today charged with murder
Callum Wheeler has been charged with murder

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