Gary Allen: Man guilty of murdering two women 21 years apart

·2-min read
Samantha Class (left) and Alena Grlakova (Humberside Police/PA Wire)
Samantha Class (left) and Alena Grlakova (Humberside Police/PA Wire)

A man has been found guilty of murdering two women, more than 20 years after he was cleared of the first killing.

Gary Allen, 47, will be sentenced next week for the murder of Samantha Class in Hull in 1997 and Alena Grlakova in Rotherham in 2018.

Allen had previously been cleared of Ms Class’ murder in 2000, but his acquittal was overturned on appeal in 2019. On Thursday, he was convicted of murdering both women following a trial at Sheffield crown court.

The court heard how 29-year-old mother-of-three Ms Class, who was working in the sex industry, had been “brutally murdered” by Allen. Her body was discovered by children on the banks of the Humber in October 1997.

Ms Grlakova’s body was found in a stream in Rotherham in April 2019, four months after she was last seen. She had been strangled.

Just weeks after he was acquitted for murdering Ms Class in 2000, Allen attacked two sex workers separately in Plymouth. He was convicted of both assaults.

In 2002, he told probation officers: “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 a 2002 interview with probation officers, he professed a deep-seated hatred for women. Humberside Police later launched an undercover operation during which Allen told one of the undercover officers about an incident with a sex worker who got angry with him.

“So I strangled her and dumped her in the Humber,” Allen told the officer.

The jury was told this was the “clearest possible admission” to his killing of Ms Class.

Allen denied murdering either of the women but was found guilty of two counts of murder after two days of deliberation by the jury. He will be sentenced on Wednesday.

Speaking outside court following his conviction, Ms Class’s daughter Sophie said: “Gary Allen may have his sentence, but my family and I have and will continue to suffer the bigger sentence.

“For those who knew my mum, she was a million beautiful things. She imprinted on everyone’s heart who met her. Because of Gary Allen, my mum violently and brutally lost her whole life and our lives were turned upside down.”

A statement by Ms Grlakova’s husband, Viliam Grlak, read out on behalf of friends and family by Detective Chief Inspector Mark Oughton, said: “The verdict will not reduce the pain and suffering that we have had to endure since Alena was so cruelly taken from us but it does give us the justice that we hoped to achieve.”

Police around the UK are now being asked to look at unsolved cases to make sure Allen has not committed any further offences.

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