THE ongoing trial of murder suspect James Allen has revealed Whitby’s darker side, as the “career criminal” has recalled the time he spent in the town.
On the evening of 24 April Allen said he visited various premises around Whitby and admitted that at a number of places he was able to “borrow (money) without asking”.
The 36-year-old, who was living on Lothian Road in Middlesbrough at the time of the murders, said he cycled to Whitby to escape police following allegations against him of rape and serious assault. “I knew at some stage I would be going to prison,” he said. “The negotiations had broken down with the police so I wanted a few days enjoyment and peace.”
While in Whitby, which Allen said he liked as it reminded him of his home town of Blackpool, the 36-year-old said he spoke to around 10 people he knew about where he could find drugs, and they all directed him to a top floor flat in Church Square.
“Whitby’s not the biggest place, we’re talking about only a few drug dealers,” he said.
While in Church Square he visited the property of a person known only to him as ‘J’ and asked about the availability of Subutex, a painkiller. When J said she was expecting some to arrive later, Allen said he returned to the flat around 15 times, during which time he bumped into a number of other people who were frequenting the property.
However, despite admitting he visited the building where Julie Davison lived, he denies ever entering the 50-year-old’s flat.
Whitby Police have been targeting drug offences in the town throughout the year, but were unable to comment about these allegations by Allen.
While in Whitby Allen said he met a man named Scott, who lived nearby to Church Square, and asked whether Allen would take place in a “little earner” - the theft of a Mercedes AMG. For this Allen said he was promised £1,000 and the pair arranged to meet on 25 April, but Scott failed to appear.
During 24 April he also visited a number of other places, including Bitz’N’Pizzas takeaway on Flowergate, where he was able to convince the staff to give him a free meal by claiming he was seriously injured. “It’s called manipulation”, he said.
He also visited the arcades on Pier Road, spending 20 minutes on 2p slot machines, where he “earned” around £75. When asked for clarification from the judge Justice Openshaw, he explained: “No offence to the people of Whitby but they are about ten years behind Blackpool when it comes to security.”
He also said he visited a number of hotels and hostels. When spotted by staff at these places he claimed to have no money, but said this was because he had no intentions of sleeping there. “Hotels is one place that I have robbed all my life.” Referring to an encounter with a member of staff at the Youth Hostel where he asked for a room but claimed to have no money, he said: “I didn’t want to pay for it, I was going to rob the place,” he said. “The same as the little divvy around the corner at the ice cream place. It’s what I do.”
Allen also explained that he had opened up a “corridor of trust” with staff at the Blencathra Hotel on Crescent Avenue by leaving his bike there, with the intention of later returning to rob the place.