Double killer was drug user with a long criminal past

while being taken into the dock by the considerable security presence that accompanied him in court, James Allen would joke “I’m walking the Green Mile”, in reference to the movie about inmates on death row in a US jail.

It was typical of the swagger of the 36-year-old double murderer throughout the three-week trial.

Despite damning evidence against him, including hours of CCTV footage, witness statements and even DNA samples linking him to outside Julie Davison’s Whitby flat, Allen insisted on putting relatives of his victims through the ordeal of appearing in court.

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Halfway through the trial, Allen sacked his defence barrister John Bromley-Davenport QC, who has 40 years’ experience working in the criminal courts.

Meanwhile, Mr Justice Openshaw lost patience with Allen’s continual foul-mouthed outbursts several times, at one point ordering him to be removed from the dock.

“I can’t be quiet,” Allen had shouted at the judge through his protective glass screen.

“Don’t talk to me, it is my trial. It is my life on the line. I will speak when I want to.”

On other occasions the defendant would sit slumped in the dock, appearing to be asleep.

Allen was on bail for alleged rape, sexual assault and actual bodily harm at the time of the murders. While in 2004 he was sentenced to eight years in prison for stabbing a homeowner in a burglary.

It was during his evidence last week that the violent nature of the regular drug user with a long criminal past started to emerge.

Allen himself warned prosecutor Robert Smith QC of his “dark side”, threatening to hurl an evidence binder at him.

When Mr Smith said for his sake he would not ask Allen more about other robberies he had committed, Allen replied: “No bring it on, bring it on, then you will look even more stupid.

“I’m not going to make myself out to be some kind of saint.
I’ve been to jail on several occasions.”

Despite Allen’s craving for notoriety and attempts to make it seem as though he were somehow one step ahead of the criminal proceedings he was part of, in reality he simply appeared as a violent thug in a prison-issue tracksuit – unable to face up to his horrendous crimes.

There will be no Green Mile for James Allen to walk, just a lifetime being forgotten about behind bars.