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"Missing" canoeist's wife faces police probe

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"Missing" canoeist's wife faces police probe

Post by shammy on Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:18 pm

7th December,2007

LONDON (Reuters) - Detectives will question the wife of "back from the dead" canoeist John Darwin when she returns to Britain from Central America, police said on Friday.

Anne Darwin, 55, is widely reported to be flying home from Panama after telling reporters that she has been "living a lie" and fears her children will never forgive her.

Her husband appeared in court on Friday as police asked magistrates for extra time to question him on suspicion of fraud.

Darwin, 57, vanished in March 2002 from his home in northeast England. Newspaper reports said his life insurance and work benefits had been paid to his wife.

"We do not know of her whereabouts," a Cleveland Police spokeswoman said. "If and when Mrs Darwin does appear in the UK, then police want to speak to her as a matter of urgency."

In an interview with Friday's Daily Mirror, his wife said: "I have been living my life as a lie, constantly looking over my shoulder. What have I done? I hate lying, I'm not a dishonest person. I really am so sorry."

She apologised to her sons, Mark and Anthony, after they said they felt they had been the victims of "a large scam".


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Re: "Missing" canoeist's wife faces police probe

Post by shammy on Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:13 pm

8th December,2007

Canoeist 'lived at family home'

The wife of a man presumed drowned in a 2002 canoe accident has said he lived in the family home for three years after being declared dead.

Anne Darwin said her husband hid in a bedsit in a house they owned next door when family or friends visited to prevent them discovering the truth.

John Darwin, 57, vanished from the Hartlepool area in March 2002.

He walked into a police station last week claiming amnesia and is now being questioned on suspicion of fraud.

Cleveland Police have been granted an extra 36 hours to question him and may apply for a further extension if necessary.

Police also want to speak to Mrs Darwin, 55, who sold the family home in Seaton Carew and moved to Panama six weeks ago.

She is thought to be in Miami but expected to return to the UK this weekend.

'Hid in bedsit'

Mrs Darwin told reporters her husband plotted his Reggie Perrin-style disappearance to escape debts "in the tens of thousands".

"John said there was only one way out of the situation, and that was to fake his death. I pleaded with him not to do it, I said it was the wrong thing to do," she said.

Mrs Darwin maintains she did not know he had gone ahead with the scam until he turned up on her doorstep in Seaton Carew 11 months after going missing, looking like he had been "living rough".


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