The father of Darren Pilkington’s second victim, Carly Fairhurst, spoke of his anguish that the 39-year-old is incapable of mending his ways and yet keeps being given more chances of liberty.
Pilkington, who was jailed for the manslaughter of his 19-year-old girlfriend in 2006, having previously served time for killing Hindley man Paul Akister, is now being hunted by police.
His original sentence ended in 2016, but since then he has been in and out of jail and moved from high security to low security and back to high security institutions on several occasions for failings to abide by rules and release terms including one previous jail break.
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Wigan man returned to prison after breaching licence conditions
All the while his victim’s parents are put through the torture of escapes, parole hearings and impact statements in a seemingly endless cycle.
Pilkington was put back behind bars for an incredible sixth time 12 months ago 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.
And earlier this year Trevor and wife Sheila spoke of their distress that he had once again been moved to a “cushier” prison in preparation for release.
They have now been told that Pilkington has absconded from his latest category D institution – whose identity and location have been kept from them – on the night of Wednesday May 25.
Trevor said: “Apparently he had applied to the governor to go on escorted day release and it would then be up to the governor as to whether he would be granted a temporary licence.
"But then he did a runner before he got an answer.
"We don’t know where he is in the country. He could be heading this way – he has before.
"But ultimately it’s the pain of knowing that that cycle of release and recapture is going to continue.
"It’s good that when he is caught he’ll go back to a tougher prison, but eventually Pilkington will be applying to move to a category D again, then he’ll be released, then he’ll blot his copy book again and all the time we will have to keep being involved in the punishment, release and parole process.
"Why does he keep putting us through this and not comply?
"Why can’t he get on with his life and let us get on with ours? We just can’t get closure. This has been going on since 2006.”
Carly and Pilkington struck up a penfriend relationship while he was in jail for Mr Akister’s manslaughter. On release they started dating, much to the Fairhursts’ concern. After her death, they discovered that Pilkington had attacked Carly on several occasions but she kept it from them.
In late January 2006, the pair were minding a house for a friend in Ince when they had a row at the top of the stairs and Pilkington pushed Carly down them.
He left her there all night, badly injured and only rang 999 the next morning, at first pretending he had only just found her.
He was arrested for assault and, when Carly later died, he was re-arrested for murder. At court the prosecution accepted his manslaughter guilty plea.