Courage of families was ‘inspirational’

Temporary Detective Supt Steve Smith
Temporary Detective Supt Steve Smith
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MORE than 200 police officers were involved in the manhunt for James Allen which spanned across the boundaries of three forces.

He was eventually spotted and apprehended by an off-duty policeman who recognised him in Leeds, four days after Julie Davison’s body was found in Whitby.

Just days earlier the discovery of the body of pensioner, Colin Dunford had sparked a murder investigation by Cleveland Police.

A pathologist identified similarities in the horrific injuries suffered by both victims which led to the double murder manhunt.

After Tuesday’s verdict, senior officers from both forces said they were satisfied with the sentence and branded Allen as “dangerous”.

Temporary Detective Superintendent Steve Smith from North Yorkshire Police, said the evidence they gathered during the investigation “left us in no doubt of Allen’s guilt”.

He said: “Myself and the investigation team are satisfied that a very dangerous man has been taken off the streets where he cannot cause any more harm to the public, albeit in the most dreadful of circumstances.

“Julie Davison was a caring and selfless person who devoted her time to helping others.

“Her life was needlessly taken in horrific circumstances by Allen who has shown no remorse whatsoever.

“His actions also caused great alarm and fear among the communities of Cleveland and North Yorkshire.

“The evidence gathered during the investigation and heard during the trial shows him to have behaved in a particularly cowardly way in respect of the violence he showed to Colin Dunford, an 81-year-old man, and Julie Davison, a 50-year-old lady.

“He deserves no further comment from me.”

T/Det Supt Smith praised the media for keeping Allen’s profile in the public domain when he was on the run and also thanked the public who came forward with information about Allen’s movements.

He added: “I hope that the outcome now gives Julie’s family and friends the opportunity to start moving forward with their lives following a shocking and very distressing time.

“Everyone involved in this case, from the public who provided information, to members of the jury who had to sit through some distressing evidence, should be pleased they’ve helped bring justice for Colin and Julie and helped convict a very dangerous man.”

Det Supt Peter McPhillips from Cleveland Police told how during police interviews and court proceedings, Allen acted with “arrogant disregard” for his victims and the legal process.

He said: “He has yet to show any remorse and he has made no attempt to account for his terrible actions when he murdered Colin and Julie.

“James Allen is an extremely dangerous, violent individual.

“He now faces what will be a substantial time in jail in order that he can be punished for those awful crimes and to ensure that the public can be protected.”

He said the courage of family and friends who had to endure a full trial because Allen refused to admit his guilt was an “inspiration”.