Double killer to be free again

Darren Pilkington
Darren Pilkington

A double killer will be back on the streets within weeks after the Parole Board approved his release.

Darren Pilkington, who fatally injured 19-year-old Carly Fairhurst in 2006, had been freed once before from that manslaughter sentence - in November 2016 - only to be re-jailed after breaching his licence terms just six months later by taking drugs, his victim’s parents have just learnt.

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A parole hearing was held at his prison earlier this month and, despite a fresh impact statement from Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst imploring the board to keep him behind bars, it was decided that he should be freed.

The same restrictions will be imposed on the 34-year-old as last time including not entering an exclusion zone roughly described as by the M6, M61 and East Lancs Road and not contacting Carly’s family or friends.

Other restrictions include initially living at an approved probation hostel and be under curfew from 9pm to 7am; and also sign in daily at the hostel at both 11am and 4pm.

If Pilkington forms a romantic relationship he must inform the authorities, he undergoes regular drug and alcohol tests and officials will also be looking out for any unusual behaviour changes. Pilkington also has to complete a number of courses while in the hostel.

Failure to abide by any of the conditions will see him back inside.

Under a recent Parole Board shake-up prompted by the serial rapist John Warboys case, it must now explain to victims’ families the reasoning for release, although the Fairhursts are far from happy that this was because he fulfilled various obligations in the further 15 months he has been in jail.

Mr Fairhurst said: “We are disgusted, shocked and angry at the decision. I wonder if board members would think that way if it was one of their children killed.

“He has killed twice (Pilkington was also jailed for the manslaughter of Paul Akister in 2000), absconded from prison and breached bail. He’s a ticking timebomb. I don’t suppose it will be long before he is back inside again - but at what cost?”

Meanwhile the Fairhursts can only concentrate on their other work which includes campaigning against domestic violence and raising money for the Carly Fairhurst Trust.

This was initially set up to fund counsellors for Victim Support but has more recently been expanded to assist the helpline set up in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena and London terror attacks last year.

The couple were at Wigan Life Centre to accept cheques for the trust: one a £500 donation from Trevor’s employer Waitrose and another for £2,585 from workmate Tom Atkinson who ran the London Marathon in aid of it for the second year running.