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Gary Allen jailed for life over murders of women 21 years apart
23 June 2021, 18:53
Double murderer Gary Allen has been ordered to serve a minimum of 37 years of a life sentence, 21 years after he was cleared of one of the killings.
Allen was found guilty last week of killing mother-of-three Samantha Class in Hull in 1997, and mother-of-four Alena Grlakova in Rotherham in 2018.
Sentencing him, Judge Goose said there had been a "significant degree of premeditation" involved in both murders and added "today your past has caught up with you."
He also said Allen "an extremely dangerous man, with a long-held, deep-seated and warped view of women, particularly of sex workers".
"I am satisfied that you fantasise and plan serious violence to sex workers, intending that they should suffer and be killed," he added.
"It would not be an overstatement to say that what you did to those two women, and the loss and suffering to their families, was wicked."
Allen had been cleared of the murder of Ms Class in 2000, but this acquittal was overturned in 2019 after "compelling" new evidence was personally presented to Appeal Court judges by Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill QC.
After the convictions at Sheffield Crown Court, Mr Hill said: "Frankly, it's hard to find any other word for him than evil."
A jury heard harrowing details of how the body of 29-year-old Ms Class, who was working in the sex industry, was found by children on the banks of the Humber in October 1997.
Prosecutors said she had been "brutally murdered" as she had been stamped on, strangled with a ligature and run over with a car.
Ms Grlakova's body was found naked in a stream in Rotherham in April 2019, four months after she was last seen, on Boxing Day 2018. She had been strangled.
She was from Slovakia and moved to the UK in 2008 but, after becoming estranged from her husband and starting work in the sex industry, she met Allen at a bus stop.
The court heard how Allen attacked two sex workers in 2000 in Plymouth, just weeks after he was acquitted of Ms Class's murder.
After he was jailed for those attacks, he told a probation officer about his dislike of sex workers and women in general, saying: "I like to frighten them. I like to cause pain. I like to make them cry. I like blood. I like to hurt them. I enjoy it. It makes me feel good."
In 2010, Humberside Police launched an elaborate undercover operation to assess the danger posed by Allen.
He told one of the undercover officers how a sex worker had got angry with him "so I strangled her and dumped her in the Humber".
The jury was told this was the "clearest possible admission" to his killing of Ms Class.
Following Allen's convictions, police forces around the UK were asked to check unsolved cases to make sure 47-year-old Allen has not committed any further offences.
Ms Class left three children, Sophia, Aiden and Lewis.
Speaking outside court on Thursday, Sophia Class said: "For the people who suffered after my mum's death, and most importantly for her, we finally have justice after 24 years."
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Oughton, who led the investigation for South Yorkshire Police, said Allen was a "despicable, violent man".
Allen denied killing either of the women but was found guilty of two counts of murder after two days of deliberation by a jury which had heard eight weeks of evidence.