April 29, 2022 11.30 am

Conviction appeal dismissed for Grimsby double murderer

He murdered two sex workers 21 years apart

Gary Allen, the man handed a life sentence for the murders of two female sex workers 21 years apart, has had appeals against his conviction and sentencing dismissed by the courts.

Allen, 48, was jailed in 2021 for the murders of Samantha Class, 29, in Hull in 1997 and Alena Grlakova, 38, in Rotherham in 2018. Both women were found beaten in stretches of water, Samantha on the banks of the Humber Estuary, and Alena in a stream in Rotherham.

His two murders were 21 years and one court trial apart, having previously been acquitted during a jury trial in 2000 that investigated the death of Samantha Class.

Samantha Class (left) and Alena Grlakova (right) were murdered 21 years apart. | Photos: Humberside & South Yorkshire Police

Humberside Police officers spoke to 6,806 people, took 3,500 statements and followed 7,214 lines of enquiry in the Class case, and despite the meticulous investigation, Allen was acquitted by a jury in February 2000.

However, an undercover operation between 2010 and 2012 prompted a confession from Allen to be caught on tape, and the acquittal was overturned at the Court of Appeal once evidence was brought to light.

Allen then faced trial again, this time with an additional murder charge following the death of Alena Grlakova in 2018. It was stated Gary Allen had paid her for sex, and her naked body was found in a stream in Rotherham in April 2019.

Both Alena and Samantha were sex workers, and the court heard of Allen’s disdain and hatred for the occupation, describing them as “scum” and “lowest of the low”.

He also told a probation officer women were ‘easy targets’ because they are ‘physically weaker’ than men.

Gary Allen’s eventual conviction made the case the first ever double jeopardy murder in Humberside Police’s history, with the force finally getting their man some 20 years on.

However, an appeal hearing was called after Allen contested both the conviction and sentencing, with his barrister accusing the judge of misleading jurors and encouraging them to dismiss defence witnesses.

It was suggested by his defence there was no evidence of the killings being planned or pre-meditated, but the appeal fell on deaf ears, as the judge did not accept the arguments and stated the trial judge was fair and “faithful”.

Gary Allen will still face a life sentence with a minimum term of 37 years for his actions.