Police searching for missing Alena Grlakova did not know about stream where she was dumped, court told

Police searching for missing Alena Grlakova did not know about stream where she was dumped, court told

By David Parker | 27/04/2021

Police searching for missing Alena Grlakova did not know about stream where she was dumped, court told


A TEAM of police officers who were searching for a missing woman - including some who lived in the area - did not know about the stream where she was eventually discovered, a court had heard.

PC Leon Rudkin, of South Yorkshire Police's tactical support unit, was part of a team of seven officers who searched the area around Broad Street in Parkgate for mum-of-three Alena Grlakova (38, pictured), who went missing on Boxing Day 2018.

The officer, who searched the area on February 11, 2019, told a jury at Sheffield Crown Court today (Tuesday) that he had not been aware of the Old Slaugh stream at School Lane playing fields, which is where the body of Ms Grlakova, of Swinton, was found on April 8.

Gary Allen (47), of Bradbury's Close, Parkgate, is on trial accused of killing Ms Grlakova by strangling her and dumping her in the Old Slaugh.

The court heard PC Rudkin and his colleagues had split into two teams and were searching an area that stretched from Parkgate to Rawmarsh.

They were tasked with searching roads, open areas, publicly-accessible buildings and derelict buildings for Ms Grlakova and the clothing she had been wearing.

Mr James Gelsthorpe, prosecuting, said: "In relative terms, is that a small or large area for seven officers to be searching?"

PC Rudkin said: "It's a large area and ideally we would need more than that - maybe three or four teams."

He said that if he had been aware of any watercourses in the area he would have recruited the regional underwater search unit to take a look at them.

Ms Katherine Goddard, representing Allen, asked PC Rudkin if he knew that one of his colleagues on the search team had lived in the area his whole life.

PC Rudkin said: "Yes I do.

"I have worked with him for many years and I am aware of his background."

He said he would have certain expectations of those on the search team and would have expected them to use their initiative.

Ms Goddard said: "You say that on February 11, you had absolutely no idea of the gully running adjacent to the Asda car park?"

PC Rudkin said: "That's correct, I didn't."

Ms Goddard said: "That would be an obvious deposition site, wouldn't it?"

PC Rudkin said: "Potentially, yes."

He said many of the officers lived around the area that had been searched.

Officers called off the search at 4.15pm due to the failing light and completed their search of the area the following day, PC Rudkin said.

Yesterday (Monday) the jury heard the area where Ms Grlakova's body was dumped had been searched three times before she was discovered.

Mr Alistair MacDonald, QC, prosecuting, said previously that Allen murdered Ms Grlakova after she repeatedly visited his flat on Boxing Day.

He said Allen killed her that night or the morning after making "chilling threats" and then dumped her naked body in the Old Slaugh where he hoped it would avoid detection.

The jury has also heard that in October 1997 Hull sex worker Samantha Class (29) was strangled to death and dumped in the River Humber.

Allen was tried for her murder in 2000 and was cleared, however, the jury have been told that his acquittal was irrelevant and they would be hearing "significantly more" evidence about the alleged killing.

Allen denies two counts of murder.

The trial continues.

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