Sons Of 'Missing' Canoeist Are 'Victims'

The sons of 'missing' canoeist John Darwin are "innocent victims" of an alleged scam, Cleveland Police have announced.

Police questioned Mark Darwin, 32, and his brother Anthony, 29, about their father's apparent disappearance in 2002 over the weekend and a spokesperson said: "Both sons of John and Anne Darwin, Mark and Anthony, were interviewed on Saturday as witnesses to the inquiry.

"The result of these lengthy interviews was that there was nothing to suggest they are anything other witnesses and, of course, victims in the case."

The men had earlier released a joint statement saying that they no longer wanted anything to do with their parents.

John Darwin, 57, was presumed dead after the remains of his canoe were found on a beach in Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool in Teesside in March 2002. However, he walked into a police station earlier this month and told officers that he could not remember where he had been and thought he was a 'missing person'.

He was later arrested at his son's home in Basingstoke in Hampshire on suspicion of fraud.

Mr Darwin has been charged with making an untrue statement to get a passport and obtaining life insurance policy by deception.

His wife, Anne Darwin, 55, also appeared in court last week charged with dishonestly obtaining sums of £25,000 and £137,000 in 2003. The first charge relates to a life insurance payout, while the second relates to a policy to cover her mortgage in the event of her husband's death.

Both have been remanded in custody until January 11 next year.


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