When were John and Anne Darwin arrested?

JOHN DARWIN disappeared for five years after faking his death in a life insurance scam with his wife, Anne.

His story of amnesia did not fool the police so both John and Anne Darwin were arrested for fraud.

When were John and Anne Darwin arrested?

Prison officer and former science teacher John Darwin, 71, staged his own death in a canoeing accident in March 2002.

John was not caught until five years later when he turned himself in to a London police station.

He and his then wife Anne Darwin were faced with mounting debts from the purchase of properties – they ran a business together renting bedsits in County Durham.

On March 21, 2002 he was seen paddling out to sea in his red kayak but did not return.

Former doctor's receptionist Anne, raised the alarm when John failed to report for work later that day.


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Canoe man John Darwin who faked his death spotted shopping in Philippines

Several weeks later the wreckage of the canoe was found washed up on a beach and John was presumed to have perished at sea.

He was declared dead, which meant Anne was given a death certificate and large life insurance pay-out.

However, he was very much alive and was hiding in a bedsit next to his family house, before later moving back in with his wife.

John and Anne then sought to move to Panama in 2006 and purchased a £200k tropical estate near the Panama Canal, with the aim of building a hotel and canoe resort.

This was short-lived as Panama changed the visa laws, which meant ex-pats living in the country needed to be verified by UK police.

John, being declared dead and using a fake name in Panama, returned to the UK on December 1, 2007 as he knew his identity would not stand up to scrutiny.



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Canoe man John Darwin who faked his death spotted shopping in Philippines

He handed himself in to the police stating he had amnesia, claiming to have no recollection of the previous five years, but he was arrested later that day by cops.

Anne was detained at Manchester Airport the following day upon her return to the UK.

Unbeknownst to the couple, Anne was already under suspicion by the police but she acted shocked to see him alive.

This was unravelled when a photo of the couple together taken in Panama in 2006 was published by the Daily Mirror, proving that Anne was very much aware of her husband being alive.

What were they charged with?

John was charged with insurance fraud and obtaining a passport by deception, while Anne was charged with fraud and money laundering.

They were also charged together for fraudulently obtaining money from a teacher's pension scheme as well as money from the Department for Work and Pensions.

In March 2008, John admitted seven charges of insurance fraud and obtaining a passport by deception at Leeds Crown Court, and Anne denied six charges of fraud.

In July of that same year, John and Anne were convicted of fraud. John was sentenced to six years and three months, while Anne was sentenced to six years and six months.

The couple appealed against their sentences but the appeals were rejected by the Court of Appeal.

John was released on probation in January 2011 and Anne was released two months later and the pair divorced shortly.

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Their children Mark and Anthony had been lied to and led to believe John had died, causing a rift between the family.

While Anne reconciled with her children and now lives in York, John relocated to the Philippines with a new wife who is 20 years his junior.

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