Canoe Man 'Cried And Begged' To Come Home

The wife of 'back-from-the-dead' canoeist John Darwin has told Teesside Crown Court that he had cried and begged her to let him come home after staging his own death.

Anne Darwin, 56, faces six charges of deception and nine charges of money laundering linked to insurance payments, in connection with her husband's disappearance. She has denied the charges.

In court on Wednesday, the jury heard how Mrs Darwin had told police investigating her role in the fraud that she had been inclined to leave her husband where he was hiding.

Mr Darwin vanished in 2002. His battered canoe was found in the sea, near his home at Seaton Carew in Hartlepool and he was declared dead the following year. However, he reappeared last December, walking into a west London police station and claiming to have no memory of the last five years.

Mr Darwin has already pleaded guilty to seven charges of deception and one charge of making false statements in order to procure a passport. He is due to be sentenced at a later date.

In court today, the jury heard transcripts of interviews that police conducted with Mrs Darwin. During the interviews, Mrs Darwin reveals how her husband had pleaded to come home from his hiding places, within weeks of his disappearance, and how she finally agreed.

Mrs Darwin also told police how her husband had lived next door to the family home in a bedsit.

She had described Mr Darwin's attempt at faking his own death as "a ridiculous idea" and said that she had argued with him, saying that the couple should declare themselves bankrupt. However, she told police: "He said we had both worked hard all our lives and he didn't want to lose everything he had worked for."

Mrs Darwin added: "I knew it was stupid, but once I set out along the road, it was difficult to turn back."

Mrs Darwin also told police that deceiving the couple's two sons, Mark, 32, and Anthony, 29, had been "extremely painful".

The trial continues.


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17 July 2008
'Back-From-The-Dead' Canoeist 'Cheated On Wife'
The wife of "back-from-the-dead" canoeist John Darwin has appeared in court today to give her own account in the money laundering and deception case. Anne Darwin told a jury that she forgave her husband after he cheated on her and that she considered leaving him but "didn't know how she would cope" without him.
24 July 2008
'Canoe' Couple Assets Frozen
The assets of John and Anne Darwin have been frozen in the first stage of the asset recovery operation. The 'back-from-the-dead' canoeist and his wife were each sentenced to six years for fraud. There is now a worldwide freeze on their assets and the process to reclaim £250,000 has begun through the Proceeds of Crime Act.
18 July 2008
Wife Of 'Back-From-The-Dead' Canoeist 'Breaks Down' At Trial
The wife of "back-from-the-dead" canoeist John Darwin has broke down in tears in court. Giving evidence, Anne Darwin said her husband "forced her" into telling their sons that he had died in a canoeing accident.
23 July 2008
'Lost' Canoiest Wife Jailed
The wife of "back-from-the-dead" canoeist has been sentenced to six years and six months for fraud. Anne Darwin, 56, has been convicted at Teeside Crown Court for her role in claiming £250,00 after helping her husband fake his death.
12 August 2008
Anne Darwin To Appeal Jail Sentence
The wife of the 'back-from-the-dead' canoeist John Darwin, has launched an appeal against her conviction and sentence, it has been revealed. Anne Darwin, 56, was found guilty of 15 charges of fraud and money laundering during a seven-day trial at Teeside Crown Court in July.