37-year jail term for double killer
A double murderer has been jailed for at least 37 years after being convicted of crimes that were "of quite exceptional brutality and savagery".
James Allen, 36, attacked 81-year-old Colin Dunford in his Middlesbrough home, then three days later stabbed Julie Davison, 50, to death at her flat in Whitby, North Yorkshire, before going on the run.
The killings, which were both motivated by robbery, sparked a huge manhunt which ended in Leeds when an off-duty police officer spotted him.
Allen, who has a history of violent crime, was convicted of murdering his vulnerable victims following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.
The guilty verdict was greeted by cries of "yes" from the public gallery as Allen, who shouted from the dock throughout the trial, left without saying a word.
After sentencing, a statement from Dawn and George Kibble, Julie Davison's sister and brother-in-law, told of the "pain and anguish" felt by the family over the "wicked" killing.
It read: "Julie meant the world to us and we are still struggling to come to terms with what happened to her on that awful day. On hearing the evidence of how Julie died we consider this was an act carried out in a way that was cruel, wicked and so totally unnecessary.
"It causes the family great pain and anguish thinking of what Julie went through in the moment leading to her death."
The statement went on: "The only frustrating thing to arise from today's verdict is the future cost to the public purse in keeping Allen for the duration of his sentence."
Mr Justice Openshaw jailed Allen for life for the two murders and told him he would not be eligible for parole until he had served at least 37 years.