May 06, 2021

Julia James murder: Daughter of killed PCSO urges people to light a candle in her memory

May 04, 2021

The grieving daughter of murdered PCSO Julia James has urged people to light a candle for her mother tonight - exactly a week on from when her body was discovered.

The 53-year-old was found with "significant head injuries" in Akholt Wood, close to her home in the village of Snowdown, near Dover in Kent.

Bethan Coles asked people to leave candles on their doorsteps on Tuesday evening as a "beautiful nod" to the police community support officer who died while out walking her dog.

In a Facebook post on Monday night, Ms Coles said: "A number of people have asked about holding a vigil for Mum, and whilst I am so grateful for people wanting to remember her, I am very conscious that any gathering would need to be policed (if it was even allowed).

"I've discussed this with my family and we are in agreement that we would prefer all police resources to be concentrating on the investigation as there is so much work to be done."

Instead she suggested people wishing to remember her mother should light a candle for her "and leave it on their doorstep".

"This would be a beautiful nod to Mum in a way that doesn't intrude on the police investigation," she added.

"Tomorrow marks a week since we lost Mum. At 7pm I will light a candle for her."

At a news conference close to the scene on Friday, Kent Police assistant chief constable Tom Richards said that while hundreds of officers were working on the investigation into her death, there were currently no "clear suspects and no known motive".

He declined to rule out that Ms James was killed by a stranger, someone she came across during her work, someone trying to steal her dog, or as part of a sexual assault.

The officer would not comment on any potential murder weapon and also declined to say whether detectives had found signs of a struggle.

Police in Dover have urged members of the public to be "cautious, vigilant and aware of your surroundings" while out and about.

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