New Park Court Team instrumental in overturning acquittal for murder and securing convictions 21 years later.

A team of barristers from New Park Court Chambers represented the prosecution in the trial of Gary Allen for the murder of two women, 21 years apart.

Allen had been tried and acquitted in 2000 of murdering Samantha Class, a sex worker, in Hull in 1997.  Within weeks of his acquittal, he attacked two further sex workers in Plymouth and spent most of the next 10 years in prison.  Whilst serving his sentence he admitted to probation officers that he held a deep loathing of sex workers and would often fantasize about harming them in the most extreme and violent manner.

Following his release, he returned to the Northeast whereupon the police began a year-long undercover operation to manage Allen’s risk in the community and gather any further evidence relating to Miss Class’s murder.  It was in the course of this operation that he made confessions to an undercover police officer, which were covertly recorded, to killing Samantha Class and dumping her body in the River Humber.

In 2018 Allen had moved to Rotherham where he struck up a relationship with Alena Grlakova, who had also fallen into sex work in order to fund her drug and alcohol addiction.  Ms Grlakova disappeared on 26 December 2018 after Allen had made repeated threats to cause her serious harm if she ever returned to his home.  The day after her disappearance he searched the internet for digging implements and visited the site where her body would be discovered four months later.

To prosecute Gary Allen for the murder of Samantha Class the prosecution required the Court of Appeal to overturn his acquittal on the basis that there was new and compelling evidence.  Paul Greaney QC, Nicholas de la Poer QC and James Gelsthorpe advised the CPS Appeals Unit, Humberside Police and South Yorkshire Police and prepared the application.  The application was presented in court by Max Hill QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57485497) and proved successful, paving the way for Allen to be tried for both murders.

The case, described as a ‘landmark’ by Humberside Police, was prosecuted at trial by Alistair MacDonald QC, James Gelsthorpe and Ashleigh Metcalfe, instructed by the Complex Casework Unit of the CPS.  It lasted for 8 weeks and resulted in the jury returning unanimous guilty verdicts on each count (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-57481459).  Gary Allen will be sentenced on Wednesday 23 June 2021.

Paul Greaney QC
Call 1993
QC 2010


Alistair MacDonald QC
Call 1983
QC 2000


Nicholas de la Poer QC
Call 2003
QC 2020


James Gelsthorpe
Call 2009


Ashleigh Metcalfe
Call 2014


17th Jun 2021


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