A WIGAN double killer could be nearing release, the horrified parents of one of his victims have been warned.
It is less than six years since Darren Pilkington was convicted for the manslaughter of his 19-year-old girlfriend Carly Fairhurst.
This was after he previously served time for involvement in the brutal death of pal Paul Akister.
Carly’s parents, Trevor and Sheila, had hoped that Pilkington’s appalling criminal record would keep him behind bars for many years to come – in fact they believe he should never be released.
But after several years of seeing parole hearings reject the now 30-year-old Hindley thug’s bids for freedom, the Hindley couple have been notified by the Ministry of Justice that there is a possibility that the next one in a few weeks time will see him moved to an open prison.
That would mean trips out and home visits and the Fairhursts say this is simply not justice.
In fact they are planning to mount a bid for what they call “Carly’s Law” to give greater rights to the victims of crime and their families.
They have already been appalled at their lack of legal representation at the parole hearings while Pilkington has a defence team. And now, due to regulation changes which see a judge sitting on the panel, they also have to disclose their victim impact statement to the killer and his representatives before the sitting.
Mr Fairhurst said: “All the odds are stacked against us and now to learn that he might soon be back on the streets so soon is utterly sickening.
“Sheila broke down when the woman from the Ministry of Justice told us. She did say it wasn’t necessarily going to be the case this time - Pilkington hasn’t been interviewed by them yet - but she is obliged to tell us in case, so then then ruling isn’t such a shock.
“This man has killed twice already. He was trusted to go into the outside world after serving a short sentence for the manslaughter of Paul Akister then killed Carly. What might happen if or when he gets out this time? He should never be released.”
Pilkington was given a public protection indefinite sentence for Carly’s manslaughter with a ruling that he serve a minimum of three years and 53 days. That included the time he had spent on remand.
So each year since that time elapsed has seen the Fairhursts’ bravely having to prepare for an annual parole bid where Pilkington, of Francis Street, Hindley, bids for freedom, the first phase being a downgrading to a lower category of prison.
Since Carly died her parents have thrown themselves into charity work, raising thousands for Victim Support and backing anti-domestic violence causes.