Killer who pushed his teen girlfriend down stairs will be FREED as her disgusted family blast parole board

Carly Fairhurst
Carly Fairhurst -Credit:SWNS

The parents of a teenager killed after being pushed down the stairs by an abusive boyfriend have slammed a decision to release him from prison.

Carly Fairhurst was just 19 when she was attacked by Darren Pilkington during a late night row at their home in Higher Ince, Wigan. She was left with fatal injuries for 12 hours before he called an ambulance.

Carly never regained consciousness and died a week later. Pilkington, 41, was jailed for manslaughter in 2006. It was his second manslaughter conviction, having previously been caged for killing Paul Akister in 2000, the Mirror reports.

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Career criminal Pilkington has spent 18 years in and out of high security jails for failing to abide by strict release conditions. When he was allowed to stay in an open prison in 2022, he absconded and went on the run for three days.

Despite the slew of offences, the Parole Board has recommended that he is fit to leave prison and live in a bail hostel, monitored with an electronic tag and subject to a curfew. Carly's parents, Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst, have now said they are "disgusted" by the Parole Board decision.

"The parole board has made a bad decision seven times," Mr Fairhurst explained. "He's being released one day this week, we're absolutely disgusted.

"He's still under the same licence conditions, he'll be monitored at a bail hostel and tagged as well. But he was before, he's no respect for the justice system at all.

Darren Pilkington
Darren Pilkington -Credit:SWNS

"We can't settle because every time he does something wrong or absconds, it breaks it all up for us. We were asked if we wanted to write a reconsideration letter again. We had discussions with the police and between ourselves and we weren't going to do one, but everybody around me was saying your voice needs to be heard."

According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, an estimated 2.1 million people aged 16 years and over experienced domestic abuse in the year ending 2023. Of those, it was estimated 1.4 million were women and 751,000 were men. In the survey, domestic abuse was categorised as being done by a partner, ex-partner, relative or someone they have had a parental relationship with.

Pilkington, who now goes by the name Darren Carr, was given a sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) after he was caged over Carly's death. This meant he only had to serve a minimum sentence of little more than three years before he could start repeatedly trying to prove he was fit for release.

Carly's parents have persistently battled to keep Pilkington behind bars, submitting impact statements to his hearing on a yearly basis. Following previous decisions to release Pilkington into the community, he has been returned to secure prisons for breaking the terms of his licenses.

In 2022, he absconded from Kirkham Open Prison and was on the run for three days before being captured in Horwich. This was close to an exclusion zone which surrounds Wigan borough where Carly's parents still live, an area he is forbidden from entering.

Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst
Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst -Credit:Manchester Evening News

But a parole hearing earlier this year decided that he should be released on licence, subject to strict conditions. These included living at a designated address, keeping away from the exclusion zone, staying on the right side of the law and submitting to enhanced supervision, including a curfew and electronic tracking.

Against him, the hearing heard there were a number of risk factors from his past. These included his attitudes towards violence and crime, his choice of a negative peer group, misuse of both alcohol and drugs, communication difficulties and a generally unstable lifestyle.

The board was also told that since his latest incarceration, his behaviour had been "generally good, that he had a trusted prison job and had obtained a vocational qualification." And they also heard that "there had been no evidence of any violent behaviour."

He had also completed work on alcohol, relapse prevention and managing boredom and stress, they were told. And he had remained on a specialist unit for those committed to recovering from their addictions and was considered to have developed a good level of insight into the risks associated with his drug use.

The Ministry of Justice has been contacted for comment.