School warned parents of prowler pestering kids the day after PCSO Julia James was murdered
5th May 2021

A SCHOOL warned parents of a prowler pestering kids for pictures the day after Julia James was murdered less than ten miles away.

The PCSO was bludgeoned to death while walking her dog on the edge of Akholt Wood on April 27, with her killer still on the loose.


Around eight miles away in Martin Mill the following day a youngster was approached by a man in a car who asked him for directions.

He then asked the child if they would send him pictures on Instagram in exchange for money.

A notice sent out by Sir Roger Manwood's School in Sandwich, Kent to parents warned: "We have just been notified of an incident that occurred yesterday near Martin Mill station.

 "It appears a young person was approached by a man in a car initially asking for directions but who then offered money in exchange for sending photographs on Instagram.

"This occurred in broad daylight but in one of the more secluded lanes in that area.

 "Please would you remind your children of the dangers of being approached by strangers and remind them to report any concerns they have or incidents they experience."

The stranger danger warning comes as residents in Aylesham and the surrounding villages were advised by police to inform family and friends where they are going when leaving the house and how long for while also keeping phones fully charged.

Yesterday cops began spot-checking cars as they vowed to leave "no stone unturned".

'DANGERS'

It comes as the hunt for Julia's killer enters its seventh day – with police admitting they have "no clear suspects".

Kent Police Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said last week the force can't rule out if her killer was someone she came across in her work, a potential dog-napper or if there was a sexual motive.

Julia, who worked for the domestic violence unit, was not on duty at the time of her death or wearing uniform and had just popped out to walk the dog after working from home during the day.

All of her possessions were still with her body – with Jack Russell Toby unharmed.

Julia, who worked in a domestic violence unit, was walking her Jack Russell terrier when she suffered injuries to the head a few hundred yards from her home in Snowdown, Kent.

Locals lit candles on their doorsteps at 7pm on Tuesday in memory of Julia one week on from her murder.

Devastated daughter Bethan Coles placed a blue candle next to a framed picture of her mum in the window of her home next to a white heart-shaped stone with "The ones we love are always in our hearts" printed on it.

She wrote in an emotional social media post: "There are no goodbyes for us, wherever you are, you will always be in my heart."

It appears a young person was approached by a man in a car initially asking for directions but who then offered money in exchange for sending photographs on Instagram.

Thousands of well-wishers followed suit as part of the #justice4julia campaign.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among those who joined the moment of remembrance by tweeting: "Tonight we remember PCSO Julia James. My thoughts are with her friends and family."

Home Secretary Priti Patel added: "Like many others across the country tonight, my thoughts and prayers are with Julia’s family, friends, and @kent_police colleagues."

Kent Police assistant chief constable Peter Ayling tweeted: "Today across Kent Police we had a minute of silence to remember & reflect."

Lifelong Aylesham resident Janet Mellin, 75, a retired care worker, lit a candle and said: "She was a lovely, lovely person. Her murder has just rocked this village like no tomorrow.

“Everytime I see it on the TV I’m crying. I’m sobbing. I’m thinking why? Why? It’s just so terrible."

Healthcare assistant Christine Thompson, 64, also joined the doorstep vigil.

She said: “Lots of people are lighting a candle because this murder has really shocked everyone.

“Lots of people were talking about putting something outside their doorstep at work.

“I think everybody in the village just wants to help in whatever way they can right now."

No suspect or motive has been identified in the case and no arrests have been made.



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