Wigan double killer's new bid for freedom

A notorious Wigan double killer is about to make a fresh bid for liberty.
Darren PilkingtonDarren Pilkington
Darren Pilkington

Darren Pilkington, jailed for the manslaughters of both Paul Akister and Carly Fairhurst six years apart, has twice been re-incarcerated for breaching the terms of his release in relation to the second killing.

But eight months after last been put back behind bars, the 35-year-old has a new parole hearing coming up on September 23, much to the dismay of his second victim’s parents who feel he should have run out of chances years ago.

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Pilkington had become 19-year-old Carly’s pen friend while serving time for his part in the 2000 fatal attack in Hindley town centre. Much against Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst’s wishes, the pair began dating after release and Carly would not tell her mum and dad about the times he attacked her.

Carly FairhurstCarly Fairhurst
Carly Fairhurst

They only learnt of the abuse after Pilkington had pushed Carly downstairs during a row in January 2006, and left her fatally injured for hours before ringing 999. By then it was too late and she lost her battle for life several days later.

Pilkington was one of the few people in British legal history to have been twice convicted of manslaughter.

He was handed an indeterminate sentence which he was close to competing until going missing from his low security cell for a night, meaning he spent longer behind bars.

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He was then released on licence only to be locked up again for a drug-related infringement of his licence. After several more months he was let out again only in January this year for the Fairhursts to be told he had been re-arrested and was once more in prison.

They were not informed what he had done to breach his licence other than that he had not breached a borough-wide exclusion zone imposed by the judge nor had he made any attempts to contact his victim’s family.

It is understood that he had been living in Accrington when the last infringement took place and his latest period of detention has been spent at Preston Prison.

Throughout the years since Carly’s death the Fairhursts, of Park Road, Hindley, have faced having to write victim impact statements and always have the fear of another parole hearing just round the corner.

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Mr Fairhurst said: “I just don’t know how many more chances he can be given. We have nothing new to say on our statement - the pain remains the same and so the previous one will be read out again. I just hope the parole board take heed. He’s no reformed criminal.”