Murder hunt: link with Scarborough

The Allerton Croft guest house on West Square where murderer James Allen is believed to have stayed on Wednesday evening. 121752b  Picture by Dave Kettlewell. '26/04/2012
The Allerton Croft guest house on West Square where murderer James Allen is believed to have stayed on Wednesday evening. 121752b Picture by Dave Kettlewell. '26/04/2012

A DOUBLE murder suspect stayed in a Scarborough hotel just hours after a woman was killed in Whitby.

James Allen, 35, stopped at the Allerton Croft Hotel, in West Square, on Wednesday evening, it was revealed yesterday.

Police confirmed Allen, originally from Blackpool, booked into the accommodation for two nights, but only stopped on Wednesday night.

Earlier that day, 50-year-old Julie Davison was found dead in her flat in Church Square, Whitby.

She had suffered serious head injuries. A man fitting Allen’s description was also seen in the Lord Rosebery pub, in Westborough, Scarborough, hours after her murder.

A witness, who wished to remain anonymous, said the man alleged to be Allen appeared “calm,” even when an argument broke out with a friend. He said: “He asked one of the lads I was with to mind his drink while he went to the toilet.

“When he returned he didn’t say thank you and the lad got a bit uppity.

“To be fair, he was the calm one.

“He was very softly spoken and calmed the situation down, I couldn’t really tell from his accent where he was from.

“He then walked up to me and said sorry - he also said that he didn’t know what all the fuss was about.

“He didn’t seem shaken or nervous or anything.”

A spokesman for the pub said the regional crime squad would be viewing CCTV footage.

Allen is also wanted by police officers in Cleveland in connection with the murder of Colin Dunford, 81.

Mr Dunford, who died of serious head injuries, was found at his home in Middlesbrough on Monday night.

Police have revealed Allen lived next door to Mr Dunford a year ago.

Allen is known to police and is currently on bail.

They advised people not to approach him but to contact them immediately.

Det Chief Supt Gordon Lang, of Cleveland Police, added: “We also believe Allen may have been involved in a number of other offences, and these potential links are currently being investigated.

“He is known to police and he has a history of committing violent offences.”

Allen is described as 5ft 7in, with a bald head and tattoos on both arms.