Police issue an appeal to trace fugitive Wigan double killer

Police have issued an urgent appeal to track down a fugitive Wigan killer who escaped from a jail only 30 miles from where he committed his crimes.

His victims are not supposed to know where he is being locked up, but it was revealed today that Darren Pilkington had been an inmate of Kirkham open prison between Preston and Blackpool when he broke out on the evening of Wednesday May 25.

The 39-year-old from Hindley is barred by the terms of his life licence from entering the Wigan borough where he killed Paul Akister in 2000 and Carly Fairhurst in 2006.

But Pilkington has breached such terms before, being arrested in the borough after going missing from a bail hostel last year.

Darren Pilkington

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Pilkington’s sentence for the manslaughter of his 19-year-old girlfriend actually ended six years ago, but since then he has been in and out of jail several times because of this inability to stick to the rules of his licence.

Carly’s parents, Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst, have spoken of their despair at his “incurable criminality” and the fact that they are stuck in an endless cycle of worry, stress and revisting the horrors of 2006 because of Pilkington’s antics and the fact they take part in the parole process and submit victim impact statements.

Mr Fairhurst this week said he just wished that Pilkington would mend his ways to everyone’s benefit.

Pilkington was first jailed for the manslaughter of Mr Akister whom he and his brother Andrew attacked in Hindley town centre.

It was while serving time for that offence, that Pilkington became Carly’s pen friend. On release they became an item but it proved to be an abusive relationship with fatal consequences.

Published on social media, the Greater Manchester Police appeal reads: “Can you help us find a wanted man who has absconded from an open prison?

“Darren Pilkington, aged 39, was last seen at HMP Kirkham on 25 May 2022. He is currently serving a life licence for manslaughter.

“If you see him contact police on 999.

“If you have any further information on Pilkington's whereabouts, call 101.”