Family pay tribute to PCSO Julia James’s ‘huge heart’ during funeral

Ms James’s son Patrick Davis said his mother was ‘the most amazing woman, who would go to the end of the earth to help anyone’.

PCSO Julia James's coffin rests in front of the altar during her funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral
PCSO Julia James's coffin rests in front of the altar during her funeral service at Canterbury Cathedral

Tributes have been paid to the “positivity, love and warmth” of a community police officer killed while walking near her home in Kent during her funeral service on Thursday.

Julia James’s son Patrick Davis said his mother was “the most amazing woman, who would go to the end of the earth to help anyone”.

Members of the communities she served as a PCSO lined the streets as her body was conveyed to the service.

Police officers in dress uniform stood to attention as her coffin was driven through Aylesham, in Kent, close to where Ms James lived.

The 53-year-old was found dead in Akholt Wood near to her home in Snowdown on April 27.

Her death sparked a huge murder investigation involving dozens of officers from all over the country.

Giving an emotional speech at the service at Canterbury Cathedral, Mr Davis said: “Mum was the most amazing woman, who would go to the end of the earth to help anyone.

Julia James
Julia James’s death sparked a murder investigation involving dozens of officers from all over the country (Kent Police/PA)

“She had the most infectious laugh and a huge heart and I am so pleased I had the pleasure of calling you my mother.

“Mum would light up a room with her smile as soon as she walked in. As she entered she would glow with positivity, love and warmth.”

He added: “I miss you more and more every day mum but I know you are always near.

“I love you mum. Goodbye for now but not forever.”

Ms James joined Kent Police in 2008 and received praise for her work with victims of domestic violence, as well as the communities she served.

Ms James's son Patrick Davis pays tribute to his mother during the service
Ms James’s son Patrick Davis paid tribute to his mother during the service (Canterbury Cathedral/PA)

Temporary Detective Superintendent Gavin Moss spoke fondly of his colleague at the service, standing beside a large Kent Police crest that was laid out for the funeral.

He said: “Her passion, dedication and commitment, along with her friendly, bubbly personality that defined her, was evident from day one and right through her career with Kent Police.

“She helped so many communities flourish.

“She always showed Kent Police in its finest light.”

Canterbury Cathedral
The service was held at Canterbury Cathedral (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Dean of Canterbury The Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis told those gathered: “We have come in this great number to fill this place representing so many different aspects of Julia’s life.

“We have come with a mixture of human emotions in sorrow for our loss.

“In admiration for the qualities of life displayed by Julia in so many different circumstances and to so many.

“In thanksgiving for those qualities, and also to surround Julia’s family with our love and our constant support at this time.”

Parish priest Father Jeff Cridland paid tribute to Ms James as “one of the flowers of Aylesham”.

Callum Wheeler, 21, from Aylesham, has been charged with Ms James’s murder and a trial date has been set for November 29.

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