Man with 'strong dislike' of sex workers 'murdered' two Yorkshire women 21 years apart, court hears

A man accused of the murder of two Yorkshire women 21 years apart openly spoke of his strong dislike of sex workers and his distrust of females in general, telling an undercover police officer he had strangled a woman who threatened to report him for rape, a court heard.

Samantha Class
Samantha Class

Gary Allen, 47, is on trial at Sheffield Crown Court for the murder of sex workers Samantha Class, 29, in Hull in October 1997 and Alena Grlakova, 38, in Rotherham on Boxing Day 2018.

Allen, of no fixed address, is accused of stamping 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.

Opening the case, prosecutor Alistair MacDonald said a post mortem carried out on Ms Class revealed she had been subjected to a violent and sustained attack.

The body of Samantha Class was found by schoolchildren on the foreshore of the Humber estuary, near Hull.

Summing up the pathologist's findings, he said: "This female has been subjected to an assault, which included severe blunt force trauma in the form of stamping to the head, neck, chest and upper abdominal areas, followed by ligature strangulation and finally she was run over in part -along the right arm and possibly also the most lateral right side of the chest - by a vehicle before the attempt to dispose of the body by putting it into the River Humber."

A number of items belonging to Miss Class, including her knickers, a shoe and pair of tights, along with blood stains were discovered near by in Brickyard Lane, North Ferriby - an area where Allen had lived as a child with his grandparents.

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He admitted having sex with Ms Class after he had been out drinking with a friend in Hull, but said she had got out of his car angry after a condom they had used split.

Alena Grlakova, 38, whose body was found in Rotherham in 2018.

He also told police he had scrapped the car he had driven that night, over fears he as going to be apprehended for an earlier and unrelated offence of driving with no MOT.

Allen was subsequently charged with her murder of Ms Class in November 1998 and stood trial in January 2000 but was acquitted of the offence.

The jury heard today how just a month after Allen had been acquitted, he approached two sex workers in Plymouth, where he had moved to, and requested oral sex. On both occasions he grabbed the women by their necks and squeezed them, demanding oral sex for free. He was convicted of both offences.

Mr MacDonald said: "You will notice strangulation is a significant feature of each of the offences against the sex workers in Plymouth just as it was the cause of death in the case of Samantha Class and, as we are to hear, Alena Grlakova. It further demonstrates that the defendant is a person who has, in the past, denied offences of which he was guilty and has given false accounts designed to pull the wool over the eyes of a jury who were trying him."

When speaking about the attacks to a male probation worker, Allen said: "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."

The jury heard how an undercover police operation was launched in 2010 when Allen returned to live in the Hull area. An undercover officer, named Ian, made friends with Allen, pretending to be an experienced criminal, who had seriously wounded a rival, and was therefore on the run from other criminals.

Mr MacDonald said: "As part of the ‘theatre’ Ian told the defendant about a criminal rival he had in the Netherlands and expressed a wish to eliminate him. The defendant volunteered to assist him with this. When Ian questioned whether he would be capable of doing such a thing, the defendant went on to tell him about an occasion where he had sex with a sex worker and the condom had split. He said that she had become angry and threatened to report him for rape if he didn’t give her some money. He then said this: “so I strangled her… and dumped her in the Humber”.

"The Crown say that this was the clearest possible admission to the defendant’s guilt in murdering Samantha Class and disposing of her body afterwards."

Mr MacDonald said: "As we indicate, it is the Crown’s case that the body of evidence now assembled against the defendant contains admissions by him of the murder of Ms Class. These confessions were not in any way prompted by the undercover officer, who simply provided the circumstances in which, should Gary Allen wish to do so, he could unburden himself. That is precisely what he did and it is, says the Crown, extremely powerful evidence of his guilt of the murder of Samantha Class in Hull in 1997."

The prosecution allege that Allen also murdered Ms Grlakova, a mother-of-two who was originally from Slovakia.

She was last seen alive on Boxing Day 2018 and was known to the defendant, having visited his flat in Rotherham on numerous occasions.

The court heard Ms Grlakova was at a very low point in her life, having split from her husband. As a result, she had turned to drugs and also sex work.

Allen told police they had sex on a few occasions, but that he felt sorry for her.

Ms Grlakova's body was discovered in the Parkgate area of Rotherham on April 8, 2019. A post mortem examination revealed she had been strangled.

Allen denies both counts of murder.

The trial continues.