A distraught mother today voiced fears that the man who took her daughter’s life will kill again – after learning that he is to be freed from prison.
Probation officials went to the Hindley home of Carly Fairhurst’s parents yesterday to break the dreaded news that 33-year-old Darren Pilkington’s latest parole board appeal had been successful after spending 10 and a half years behind bars.
Details of when he will be released and licence conditions have yet to be explained to the couple.
But even though Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst knew that the bombshell decision would come one day, they still both said they were devastated today.
Pilkington had already served time for another manslaughter when he inflicted fatal injuries on his then girlfriend at a house they were minding in January 2006. Carly died several days later.
A distressed Sheila said today: “I cannot believe it. Another life is now waiting to be ruined by this man. This is all going to happen to someone else.
We are absolutely gutted. We knew this day would come but it is impossible to prepare yourself for something like thisTrevor Fairhurst
“When he killed Paul Akister they imposed conditions and he flouted them. He does not abide by rules and regulations.
“When are the authorities going to realise that the only way to keep people safe is to keep him locked up and throw away the key?” Hindley 19-year-old Carly befriended the killer while he was serving another prison term for his part in the 2000 manslaughter of Hindley man Paul Akister.
The relationship was one opposed by Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst but the youngster persevered and hid the domestic abuse he inflicted on her once released and it proved a fatal error.
While minding a house for a friend at Ince, they rowed and Carly was left for dead at the foot of the stairs. Pilkington changed his story several times, at first claiming he came back to find her injured and later admitting that he had left her badly injured by the front door all night after she had fallen down the stairs during a row.
The prosecution accepted a manslaughter plea and he was given a minimum sentence of little more than two years. He later misbehaved in prison and, two years ago went missing from his cell, setting back attempts to be released.
But a fresh parole hearing was held on October 7 and the board this week announced that he was fit to be released on licence.
At their home in Park Road, Hindley, today, the Fairhursts were coming to terms with the news.
Trevor said: “We are absolutely gutted. We knew this day would come but it is impossible to prepare yourself for something like this. We have not been given any details about release date or conditions apart from that he will not be able to enter Wigan borough for 10 years, but he flouted licence conditions when he killed Paul Akister so who is to say he won’t this time either?”