AWOL double Wigan killer Darren Pilkington captured in Wigan
A double Wigan killer who fled a bail hostel has been re-captured - in his home town.
Family of his second victim, Carly Fairhurst, fear Darren Pilkington may have been holed up in the borough for most of the five days that he was on the run from the law.
The Hindley 39-year-old had been released from prison on licence last October, one of the strictest conditions of his liberty being that he did not enter an exclusion zone covering the whole of Wigan borough and beyond.
But Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst have been told that after several near misses, police finally caught up with Pilkington just miles from their home at 10pm on Thursday night.
Pilkington pushed 19-year-old girlfriend Carly downstairs during a row at a house they were minding in 2006 and left her all night with serious injuries. She died several days later and he eventually admitted to her manslaughter.
It was the second such admission, his having pleaded guilty - along with his brother Andrew - to kicking to death Hindley man Paul Akister in 2000.
Since his release in 2016, Pilkington has been in and out of prison on five occasions due to licence infringements, the previous one because he had formed a relationship with a woman without informing the authorities.
Each time the Fairhursts have then had to brace themselves for regular parole hearings to which they submit victim impact statements trying to thwart his re-release and now this process will have to start again now that Pilkington is once more behind bars.
And so it was with a mixture of shock, relief and distress that they discovered he had been so close to their home.
Mr Fairhurst said: "We haven't been told a great deal other than that he wasn't in Hindley itself. But he was in the borough and I wouldn't mind betting that he hasn't been here most of the time since he went missing on Sunday night.
"It's frightening to think he has been so close to us. Sheila has already been on medication after we learnt that he was on the loose. Thank goodness we didn't know he was around here before he was recaptured.
"Someone must have been harbouring him. If so they should be prosecuted for that.
"We were told that the police were on his tail from early on but they kept missing him by minutes. But they finally got him late on Thursday night. He hadn't hurt anyone while he was at large and he came quietly when they arrested him."
Sources say that undercover police had been posted at the cemetery where Carly is buried in case Pilkington turned up there.
It is understood that the killer - who now calls himself Darren Carr - had been staying at a bail hostel in Cumbria. It was when he failed to answer to an evening curfew on Sunday that the alarm was raised and the police launched major manhunt.
Mr Fairhurst said: "We are very glad that he is locked up again. After so many infringements - and this one of coming into the exclusion zone is a particularly big one - surely now he has run out of chances and should be kept behind bars. He keeps proving he is incapable of behaving himself and we have said all along that, given the chance, he could well kill again.
"But we suspect the whole parole circus will eventually start again. I just hope that after this episode it is a long time in the future."
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