Wigan double killer: Fury as Darren Pilkington moves to cushier jail

The father of a Wigan domestic abuse victim has told of his family’s renewed distress and anger as her killer was moved to a lower category prison.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 3:52 pm

Darren Plikington was put back behind bars for an incredible sixth time in May after breaching the terms of his latest release licence by going on the run from a bail hostel and being found in Wigan from where he is barred.

Each time he has been re-caught means that the family of 19-year-old Carly Fairhurst, whom he attacked and killed in 2010, have to go through the grim merry-go-round of writing victim impact statements and enduring parole hearings.

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Darren Pilkington

The 39-year-old, who was also jailed for the manslaughter of Hindley man Paul Akister in 2000, is incurably bad, say Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst, and should be locked up forever.

But that is not how the parole system works. The only relief after Pilkington’s latest hearing is that he wasn’t released altogether.

However it was with dismay that the Fairhursts greeted the news that he is being moved to a lower category of jail.

Mr Fairhurst said: “We know what happened last time they did that - he escaped! And moving someone to a cushier prison means they are preparing him for release again.

Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst with a picture of Carly

“Some people just will never change their way: like that killer Colin Pitchford who is now back behind bars for approaching women not long after his release.

“Sheila and I are stuck in this endless, anxious, distressing cycle of Pilkington being jailed, being moved to lower category prisons, being released, breaching his licence, going back to jail and then happening all over again.

“He has been sent back to prison six times in five years.”

One consolation for the Hindley couple this time is that they can appeal over the decision and can go straight to the Ministry of Justice, missing out the probation service. And they fully intend to appeal.

Mr Fairhurst said: “He is still causing us torment and he will never learn. Sheila, I and lots of other local people believe that.”

Carly befriended Pilkington while he was serving his sentence for Mr Akister’s death. It was an abusive relationship which Carly hid from her family and eventually one night during an argument he pushed her downstairs and left her at the bottom until morning, by which time her injuries were unsurvivable.

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