Double Wigan killer Darren Pilkington back behind bars

Darren Pilkington
Darren Pilkington

A two-time Wigan killer is back behind bars yet again.


Darren Pilkington, jailed for the manslaughters of Paul Akister and Carly Fairhurst six years apart, was arrested by police on Thursday for once more breaching the terms of his licence.

Carly Fairhurst

Carly Fairhurst

It came only a week after his fatal relationship with Hindley teen Carly was featured in a Judge Rinder's Crime Stories episode on ITV.

The Ministry of Justice contacted his latter victim's parents, Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst, to inform them that Pilkington was on his way back to prison after what is a second licence breach since first being being granted parole from his sentence for killing Carly.

The couple have not been told how he contravened the terms of his release, although they believe they would have been told if he had been spotted in the Wigan borough exclusion zone imposed on him.

It is believed he has been living in the Accrington area under a pseudonym.

Pilkington was first released from his indeterminate sentence for killing 19-year-old Carly in 2016, having served a decade in prison and during which time his release process was held up after he disappeared from his cell for a night.

Months later he was recalled to prison for a licence breach which was later discovered to be drug-related.

But then, after his victim's family had to go through the pain of more parole hearings and submitting victim impact statements, the authorities saw fit to let him out yet again last year.

At present the Fairhursts don't care why he's been sent back to prison this time, only that he is no longer at liberty once more.

Sheila said: "We got a call out of the blue on Thursday night saying that Pilkington was on his way back to jail.

"We are over the moon that he is back where he belongs."

Mr Fairhurst has previously questioned Pilkington's releases, saying he believes the killer is both unrepentant and an incurable criminal who will offend again and again if given the chance.

Pilkington and his older brother Andrew were jailed for the brutal killing in 2000 of Mr Akister outside a Hindley pub. While in jail Darren Pilkington struck up a pen friend correspondence with Carly, much to her parents' horror.

They hoped it would fizzle out but once he was released, they began dating, although it soon became a relationship marred by domestic attacks which Carly kept from her mum and dad.

In January 2006 tragedy struck at a house Carly and Pilkington were minding for a friend in Ince.

During a row, he pushed her downstairs. The fall badly injured her but Pilkington did nothing to help all night and only rang 999 the next morning, telling lies about the circumstances.

Carly died several days later and eventually Pilkington admitted manslaughter at Manchester Crown Court.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said:“Darren Pilkington was recalled to prison on 17/1/2019 after his licence was revoked.

“Public protection is our priority and recall is used to ensure that offenders on licence who present a high risk to the public are returned to prison as quickly as possible.”