Manhunt for double killer on run from open prison after escaping for second time

Darren Pilkington was jailed in 2006 for killing his then girlfriend

Thomas Kingsley
Friday 27 May 2022 18:20
<p>Darren Pilkington is on the run again</p>

Darren Pilkington is on the run again

Police have launched a manhunt for a double killer who is on the loose after absconding from an open prison for a second time.

Darren Pilkington, 39, was jailed for manslaughter in 2006 after knocking 19-year-old Carly Fairhurst down the stairs and leaving her for hours to die before calling 999.

The Prison Service said officers are working to “urgently” recapture Pilkington following his escape.

Over the past decade, Pilkington has been released four times but recalled on each occasion after breaking rules and going on drink and drug binges. He was jailed for a sixth time a year ago after fleeing a bail hostel and being found in Wigan, where he is banned from visiting.

Pilkington was 15 when he was first locked up for beating to death 30-year-old Paul Akister during a fight outside a pub in Wigan.

Carly Fairhurst’s parents called Pilkington a ‘danger to society’

The father of Darren Pilkington’s second victim, Carly Fairhurst, spoke of his anguish declaring the 39-year-old is incapable of mending his ways and yet keeps being given more chances of liberty.

Speaking to Wigan Today following the news of Pilkington’s abscondment, Trevor Fairhurst 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.” Mr Fairhurst has called for Pilkington to be sent to a tougher prison, previously branding him a “danger to society”.

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 the stairs.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “The prison and police are working together urgently to recapture the offender.

“While absconds have halved since 2010, the deputy prime minister has introduced greater scrutiny of Parole Board recommendations on open prison moves.

“Those who abscond face tough consequences, including being returned to closed prison conditions and serving additional time behind bars.”

More to follow...

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