The parents of Carly Fairhurst this week received the letter they had dreaded: notification of Darren Pilkington’s latest parole hearing.
They fear that this time the panel will allow the man, who attacked and left for dead their 19-year-old daughter Carly, to walk free.
Trevor and Sheila Faihurst have already written their latest victim impact statement explaining how the February 2006 tragedy is still having a devastating effect on them, and have no intention of attending the October 7 hearing at the prison where Pilkington is currently being kept (the location has not yet been disclosed to them).
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Pilkington, now 33, became one of the first people in British legal history to admit to two separate cases of manslaughter, having already been in jail for killing Hindley man Paul Akister when he became Carly’s partner.
He has already served many years over his original minimum tariff, and could in fact have already been released had there not been an incident at an open prison when he was not found to be in his cell.
He was thereafter returned to a higher category jail and the system decrees that he will not return to a lower category one before release.
Next month’s panel will decide whether Pilkington needs to stay behind bars longer or be released on licence.
The Hindley couple fear that the latter decision will be made. Mr Fairhurst said: “We are preparing ourselves for the worst. There is an inevitability that he will be released. We would have been told by the authorities if he had done something that might make them think again about letting him go.
“The stark reality is that he could be a free man within a few weeks and we have to face up to that. Because of the licence conditions that would keep him away from these parts it is a remote chance that we would see him. But imagine coming face to face in the street with the man who killed your daughter.”
l A new police crackdown against domestic abuse: See page 14.