John Darwin: Man who faked his own death held for leaving country without permission


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The Independent Online

John Darwin, the man who faked his death in a canoe accident and then handed himself in to the police feigning amnesia, has reportedly been arrested after he left the country without permission to meet a woman in Ukraine.

The 63-year-old was held by police at Newcastle Airport moments after flying into Britain, according to The Sun newspaper. Darwin had been pictured on a date with a blonde woman in her 20s in the town of Sumy, 1,500 miles from his home in Hartlepool. 

Darwin faked his own death in a canoeing accident in 2002 in an elaborate ploy that allowed his wife Anne to claim thousands of pounds in compensation from insurance policies and pension schemes. The couple, from Seaton Carew, were jailed at Teesside Crown Court in 2008 for the swindle, which deceived even members of their own family.

He continued to live in secret with his wife before they escaped to Panama to start a new life. But in December 2007 Darwin walked into a London police station claiming he had amnesia and was reunited with his sons. His wife, then still in Panama, claimed surprise until a photograph emerged of them together. They have since divorced.