Parkgate man accused of murdering Swinton mum looked up "murdered females" online, court told

Parkgate man accused of murdering Swinton mum looked up "murdered females" online, court told

By David Parker | 20/04/2021

Parkgate man accused of murdering Swinton mum looked up 'murdered females' online, court told
Alena Grlakova


A MAN accused of strangling Swinton mum Alena Grlakova to death had searched for "ways to commit the perfect murder" and "murdered females", a court has heard.

Gary Allen (47), of Bradbury's Close, Parkgate, is on trial at Sheffield Crown Court accused of killing Alena Grlakova (38) in Rotherham following her disappearance on Boxing Day 2018.

He is also accused of killing sex worker Samantha Class (29) in Hull in October 1997 by stamping on her and strangling her.

The jury heard audio recordings today (Tuesday) that Allen made of his conversations with Ms Grlakova on the last day she went missing - December 26, 2018.

Allen told Ms Grlakova to her out of his flat several times but when she returned he told her: "If you knock on my door again I'm coming out here and I'll knock the living f***ing s*** out of you.

"I'm not f***ing kidding."

Mr Alistair MacDonald, QC, prosecuting, told the jury that Allen killed Ms Grlakova either that night or the following morning and, while there was no direct evidence she had returned to his flat, his "chilling threats", together with other evidence, meant they could be sure that Allen had killed her.

In the early hours of the following morning, Allen searched online for hand trowels and shovels from hardware stores B&M and The Range.

GPS evidence from Allen's phone showed he went to The Range in Parkgate later that day where, the prosecution say, he bought a pair of work gloves and two trowels.

He had taken a diversion to the Old Slaugh stream, at School Lane playing fields, where he did a "reconnaissance" for where he would later dump Ms Grlakova's body, Mr MacDonald said.

Ms Grlakova's body was discovered in the Old Slaugh by PC Andrew Briscoe on April 8, 2019, while he was reviewing the searches police had made of the area.

Mr MacDonald said: "He recalls the smell of decomposing flesh coming from the bottom of the bank of the stream and looked down to see something black and brown stuck up from the silt.

"When he looked more closely it appeared to be a left leg."

Jurors were shown pictures of the Old Slaugh where Ms Grlakova's body was found and a 3D animation of the position her body was in when it was discovered.

Forensic archaeologist Dr Karl Harrison concluded that Ms Grlakova had been weighed down by grit which was too heavy to have flowed onto her, Mr MacDonald said.

He said: "It is the Crown's case that Gary Allen, having killed Alena, deposited her body in the Old Slaugh, in the bottom of this steep-sided culvert, overgrown with vegetation, in what turned out to be a successful effort to hinder the finding of her body and the hope that if it were found, it would be so decomposed that no conclusions could be drawn as to the cause of death."

Pathologist Dr Naomi Carter did conclude, however, that Ms Grlakova had been strangled.

Mr MacDonald said: "All this evidence tells us that Alena was strangled, that her body was deposited naked in the Old Slaugh, where detection would be difficult, and this was no accident."

Police arrested Allen on April 10, two days after Ms Grlakova's body had been found, and seized a broken mobile phone and a Chromebook.

They found on his phone images of dead women who looked similar to the way Ms Grlakova had been found and a search for 'Ways to commit perfect murder', Mr MacDonald said.

Allen had also searched for 'murdered female' but police were not able to date when he had made the searches.

When he was interviewed by police about the events of Boxing Day, he told officers that he had been very drunk and claimed he did not know Ms Grlakova was a sex worker.

He said Ms Grlakova had only been at his flat for 15 to 20 minutes and when he had thrown her out that had been the last time he had seen her.

Allen claimed that he bought the trowels because he had been thinking of getting an allotment.

Yesterday, the jury heard that Hull sex worker Samantha Class (pictured, above) had been stamped on, strangled to death and dumped in the River Humber.

Allen was tried for the murder of Ms Class in 2000 and was acquitted, however, the jury have been told that his acquittal was irrelevant and they would be hearing additional evidence about the alleged killing.

Allen later told an undercover police officer that he had once strangled a sex worker and dumped her in the Humber.

Allen denies two counts of murder.

The trial continues.

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