Family’s ‘elation’ as killer is refused parole

Double killer Darren Pilkington

Double killer Darren Pilkington

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A NOTORIOUS Wigan double killer has been told that he has no immediate prospect of release.

The family of one of Darren Pilkington’s victims today told of their “great relief” that parole or a move to a lower category of prison was currently out of the question.

Carly Fairhurst

Carly Fairhurst

The 32-year-old, who killed Paul Akister in 2000 and then his own girlfriend Carly Fairhurst six years later after serving time for the first death, had looked like he was on the path to freedom until he sparked an escape alert at his open prison in Buckinghamshire last year. Since then he has been locked up again in Category B prisons and earlier this month he had his annual parole hearing at Stoke Heath jail Shropshire.

This week 19-year-old Carly’s parents Trevor and Sheila received a visit from a representative from the Ministry of Justice telling them the parole board had knocked back Pilington’s application. It lifted the Hindley couple who only recently suffered the added distress of having items stolen from their daughter’s grave at Castle Hill cemetery.

And under new laws, inmates who abscond no longer get a second chance at the open prison route to liberty. Instead they are kept in closed conditions for much longer before going through the probation process. The Fairhursts did not attend the recent hearing although their victim impact statement was read out and they were told it clearly moved the panel. It will be at least another 12 months before Pilkington can apply again.

Mr Faihurst said: “We feel elated. It has been a rough time for us recently what with the grave theft and this is a great relief.”