Julia James ‘murder’: PCSO’s killer ‘laughs’ when police arrive at his house in bodycam footage
The man accused of murdering police community support officer Julia James laughed at two of her colleagues and called them “phoney” just days before her death, a jury has heard.
The court was on Wednesday shown police bodycam footage captured by one of two PCSOs who went to the home Wheeler shared with his father in Sunshine Corner Avenue just 10 days earlier on 17 April after he made an abandoned 999 call.
Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC said Wheeler’s father answered the door wearing headphones before calling up the stairs to tell the defendant the police were there.
She told the court: “The defendant appeared at the top of the stairs and told his father to turn off all the lights before he would come down the steps.
“The door was ajar and Callum Wheeler’s father walked into the lounge.
“PCSO McGuinness tried to engage with the defendant who was behind the door.
“He said it [the 999 call] must have been an accident and that he was joking.
“PCSO McGuiness beckoned for PCSO Carmichael to join her and her body camera captured part of the exchange.
“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 was laughing behind the door saying it wasn’t even the real police.”
The prosecution alleges Ms James was killed with a metal railway jack which, they say, was later found in the defendant’s bedroom.
The trial also heard how Wheeler was photographed carrying his alleged weapon in a bag the day after Ms James’s death.
Jurors were shown an image of what the prosecution say was the defendant walking in fields near Aylesham on 28 April last year.
In the picture, taken by gamekeeper Gavin Tucker, who worked for nearby Nethersole Farm, a man the prosecution say was Wheeler is carrying a blue holdall with a long object poking out of it which is covered with carrier bags.
Prosecutors allege the object was the railway jack Wheeler used to bludgeon Ms James.
The court was also shown dashcam footage from Mr Tucker’s vehicle which captured a conversation between the gamekeeper and Wheeler.
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 on two occasions 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”.
Ms James was off-duty and walking her Jack Russell Toby in fields and woodland known as Ackholt Wood near the back of her home in Snowdown, Kent, when she was attacked.
The court previously heard how Ms James had on two occasions told her husband Paul James about passing a “really weird dude” on the bridle path of Ackholt Wood.
In February 2021, just weeks before she was killed, she and her husband had spotted the same man, loitering close to the murder scene.
Ms Morgan on Wednesday told the court that following Ms James’s death, and before Wheeler was arrested, Mr James helped police create an e-fit of the man they saw.
She said Mr James later identified Wheeler in an identification procedure as the man he had seen in Ackholt Wood when he was with his wife.
The trial continues.