A man with a “deep-seated” dislike of sex workers has gone on trial for the murders of two women which happened 21 years apart.
One of his victims was stamped on, strangled and run over by a car before being dumped in a river, a court heard.
Gary Arthur Allen, aged 46, is accused of murdering Samantha Class, 29, from Hull in 1997 and Alena Grlakova, 38, in Rotherham in 2018.
A jury has been told this morning it will be the second time he has gone on trial accused of Samantha’s murder, as he was acquitted back in 2000.
It was claimed he then allegedly went onto murder a second woman, mum-of–three Alena on Boxing Day 2018.
Opening the case for the prosecution, Alistair MacDonald QC, told the jury how Allen “held deep seated adverse feelings about sex workers”.
He told the court that in 1997 on a Sunday morning, school children came across the body of Samantha Class, 29.
She was lying face down in the mud on the edge of the River Humber in Hessle near Hull.
The prosecutor said a post-mortem exam suggested she had been strangled with a strap with “severe force” and then run over by a car.
Mr MacDonald QC said it also found her “death had been caused by what is called ligature strangulation.
“In other words, some form of strap had been applied to the neck with severe force,” the prosecutor told the jury.
He said pathologist, Dr Guy Rutty, concluded: “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…before the attempt to dispose of the body by putting it into the River Humber.”
He told Sheffield Crown Court how DNA found on Samantha Class was a match with Gary Allen’s DNA, taken after he was stopped for drink-driving about nine months later.
When quizzed by police about Samantha’s murder, he said they had agreed to have sex for £30 because that’s “all he had” but denied killing her.
He claimed his condom had split and Samantha was angry, walking away from his car uninjured.
But the court heard the accused had sold his car a few days after Samantha was murdered.
The prosecutor said Samantha Class had suffered a “violent, sustained and fatal” attack.
He told the jury this afternoon: “He was tried for that murder at Sheffield Crown Court in February 2000 and found not guilty.
“Ordinarily that would have been that and an end of matters but in this country the law allows, in certain limited circumstances, for the prosecution to apply for an acquittal to be overturned based on new evidence and ask for there to be a fresh trial.
“That is precisely what has happened in this case. “
He said there is “significantly” more evidence now than there was then.
He also told the jury weeks after being found not guilty he moved to Plymouth and went to assault two sex workers.
“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 Glrakova,” the prosecutor told the court.
He also told the jury how just weeks after being found not guilty Allen moved to Plymouth and went on to assault two sex workers.
The prosecutor claimed “strangulation” was also a feature in these crimes as it was in the two murders.
The jury heard he allegedly spoke “openly” to probation about his strong dislike of sex workers and of his “dislike and distrust of women in general. “
He described sex workers as being “scum’ and the lowest of the low”.
Allen stated that he targets sex workers as they are “easy targets” and “They go with anybody.
The court heard how one probation worker claimed: “The defendant told me that he had attacked the two sex workers in Plymouth: ‘Because I wanted to’.
“When I asked Gary what was attractive about his abusive behaviour against these two women, he stated: ‘…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’.”
Mr Justice Goose told the jury, after they were sworn in last week: “You will be told that in 2000 the defendant was tried with the murder of Samanatha Class, count one, and a jury acquitted him.
“Of course, you appreciate that he’s being tried again for her murder in this trial and it will be for you to reach your own verdict.”
The judge said the fact Allen was acquitted is not relevant and he told them they will be “hearing additional evidence to that which was heard by the jury in 2000”.
The trial continues.