Wigan killer back behind bars

Andrew Pilkington - jailed
Andrew Pilkington - jailed

A notorious Wigan killer was back behind bars today for a pair of brutal assaults.

In the same week that his younger brother was told he was to be released from his second manslaughter prison sentence, Andrew Pilkington - once jailed with sibling Darren for killing Hindley man Paul Akister - was facing up to a new term of incarceration.

For two counts of causing grievous bodily harm, the 35-year-old of Bridgewater Street, Hindley, was at Liverpool Crown Court sentenced to four years and nine months with an extended licence of two years. He must serve at least two thirds of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

A judge said he considers Pilkington continues to pose a serious risk of causing significant harm to the public but was unable to pass a life sentence on him.

Judge Denis Watson told Pilkington, who showed no emotion, that the injuries to the second victim “were close to being catastrophic. It was a heavy blow causing very serious injury.”

The first victim still has trouble eating after his jaw was smashed on both sides and the other victim suffered skull and facial fractures.

The court heard that Pilkington began offending aged just 14 with an assault and his record includes four convictions for wounding, one for GBH and another assault.

He appeared for sentence after admitting two GBHs, the second while on bail for the first and with a suspended sentence for aggravated vehicle taking hanging over him.

Prosecuting, Henry Riding said that on October 25 last year Dennis Williams went to The Hub nightclub in Wigan. “He remembers nothing of the incident that befell him but CCTV captured what happened.”

An unidentified drunken man was seen bizarrely dancing around Pilkington on the dance floor “shadow boxing”. While out of sight from the camera behind Pilkington the man went to the floor and Mr Williams went over to help him.

Another unknown man punched Mr Williams from behind and he fell on top of the prone man. “As he attempted to get to his feet he was punched full in the face by the defendant and effectively pole-axed. The defendant left fairly swiftly afterwards.”

As a result of the blow the victim suffered a displaced fracture to both sides of his jaw, which is still numb, and is being treated for a misaligned bite.

Mr Riding said that in the early hours of February 28 this year David Johnson was talking to doormen after leaving The Plantation Bar in Ashton with his wife and friends. Pilkington was also outside waving money at the bouncers and he pushed Mr Johnson to the back of the head.

“A couple of seconds later he struck him with his hand, described as a slap and Mr Johnson fell immediately to the ground making no attempt to break his fall, consequently the back of his head struck the road or pavement.”

Pilkington appeared angry but gave no explanation for his actions. A witness took his photo and this later led to his arrest.

Mr Johnson, a 52-year-old self-employed roofer, suffered a cracked skull, bruising to his brain and several facial fractures. He was in hospital for four days and in an impact statement said his sense of taste, smell and cognitive functioning were impaired and he was off work for eight weeks.

Dan Travers, defending, said the incidents involved a single blow and the second had been a slap though Pilkington accepted he appreciated his own power.

He has been making progress in prison and is upset at the affect of his absence on his young son, who he wanted to be a good role model for.

Both Pilkington brothers were jailed for causing Mr Akister’s death in 2000. Seven years later Darren Pilkington became one of the few people in British legal history to admit to two separate cases of manslaughter when he was sent down for killing his girlfriend, Hindley teenager Carly Fairhurst.

This week the parole board told him that they were preparing the way for his release. Carly’s parents were devastated and said they fear he may kill again.