Gary Allen sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 37 years for the murders of Samantha Class and Alena Grlakova

A brutal and callous killer has been sentenced to life in prison and told he must serve a minimum of 37 years before he can even be considered for parole for the murder of two women 21 years apart.

Mr Justice Goose, described Gary Allen as “wicked” and said: “I doubt it will ever be safe to release you into the community”, when he sentenced him at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday.

Allen, 47, was found guilty of the murder of sex workers Samantha Class, 29, in Hull in October 1997 and Alena Grlakova, 38, in Rotherham on Boxing Day in 2018. He was cleared of Ms Class at a previous trial in 2000.

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Sentencing Allen, the judge said he doubted that it would ever be safe to release him into the community.

JAILED: Gary Allen
JAILED: Gary Allen

He said: "You have been convicted of the murders of two women 21 years apart.

"You thought you had got away with murder, but today your past has caught up with you. This jury has, on overwhelming evidence, convicted you on both murders.

"You are an extremely dangerous man with a long-held, deep seated, warped view of women, in particular sex workers. I am satisfied you fantasise and plan serious violence to sex workers.

"It would not be an overstatement to say that what you did to those two women and the suffering to their families was wicked.

Allen, of no fixed address, stamped on Ms Class, before strangling her with a ligature, running her over with a car and then dumping her body in the River Humber on October 26, 1997. Her body was found by schoolchildren on the foreshore of the Humber estuary.

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Reading out a statement in court, Sophia said: "Samantha Class is a name you know as a sex worker, but this was no more than a job description. Samantha was a woman, a daughter, a sister and an aunt.

"For those who knew my mum, she had everyone's heart who met her. It broke our hearts as children, and as adults.

"We had such a short space of time together before she was taken from us. She has been missing from our lives."

She continued: "I had questions about what happened throughout my life. My mum violently lost her life. Our family unit was broken into pieces and so many memories were taken away. "He took her life but not just hers - two women, over two decades.

"For 24 years I have had questions with no justice. This has ended with him being finally convicted and facing justice. Never again will he be able to hurt another woman."

Allen strangled Ms Grlakova, after she turned up at his flat in Rotherham asking for food and money on Boxing Day 2018.

In a chilling audio recording that Allen made of their conversation, he told her that if she came back again, he would 'beat her'.

A statement was read out in court on behalf of her husband Viliam Grlak. He said: "After our split, she lived a chaotic lifestyle and our children chose to live with me. I recalled the last time I saw her in December 2018. She looked vulnerable, I felt sorry for her. She made it clear at that time her intention to return to Slovakia. She was desperate to turn her life around. She promised our children. She has been taken away from our children.

"My children have had to endure anxiety and pain and have suffered nightmares and trauma. The murder of her has not only affected us, but her family in Slovakia, who she remained close to.

"It was her mother who initially raised the alarm about her being missing as a result of no contact. Her mother has suffered greatly with her mental health and cannot come to terms with her leaving Slovakia for a better life in the UK and meeting such a tragic end.

"Nothing can ever change what happened or bring Alena back to life."

The judge commended the investigation teams at Humberside Police and South Yorkshire Police led by Detective Chief Inspector Christine Calvert and Detective Chief Inspector Mark Oughton.