Canoe man John Darwin's ex-wife Anne seen for the first time in years

排他的: Canoe man John Darwin’s ex-wife Anne seen for the first time in years living quietly in a village where she is rebuilding her life ahead of an ITV series about her husband’s plot to fake his own death

  • Anne Darwin helped husband John fake his death in 2002 to clear their debts
  • For years they pretended he had drowned at sea, even fooling their two children
  • It all came crashing down when he walked into a London police station in 2007
  • Anne was jailed for over six years with police calling her a ‘compulsive liar
  • She has now been seen trying to rebuild her life in a village near Middlesbrough
  • The ex-wife of ‘canoe man’ John Darwin who faked his own death has been seen for the first time ahead of a major TV series about her part in the elaborate scam that shocked the world.

    Anne Darwin was tracked down by MailOnline to a village near Middlesbrough where she lives quietly having re-built her life after a six-year prison sentence for fraud and money laundering.

    The 70-year-old has reverted to her maiden name and lives where few of her neighbours are aware of her past or how she conspired with her husband to fake his own death.

    Anne Darwin was tracked down by MailOnline to a village near Middlesbrough where she is trying to rebuild her life

    Anne Darwin was tracked down by MailOnline to a village near Middlesbrough where she is trying to rebuild her life

    She was jailed for more than six years for taking part in a plot to fake the death of her husband, ジョン・ダーウィン, に 2002

    She was jailed for more than six years for taking part in a plot to fake the death of her husband, ジョン・ダーウィン, に 2002

    Anne had claimed that her former prison officer husband drowned in 2002 while out paddling in his canoe – when in reality he was living in a secret compartment in their home in Seaton Carew, Teeside.

    The couple’s elaborate plot wiped off their £700,000 debt and fooled insurers into paying out over £500,000 so that they could start a new life abroad.

    But their plan came crashing down five years later in 2007 when a photo emerged of John and his wife smiling alongside an estate agent in Panama where they had moved to run an eco-resort.

    The astounding scam is now being re-told in a four-part ITV series called ‘The Thief, His Wife and a Canoeand stars Eddie Marsan as John while BAFTA award winner Monica Dolan takes on the role of Anne.

    An ITV drama about the plot, starring Eddie Marsan as John Darwin and Monica Dolan as Anne Darwin, is set to be released in April

    An ITV drama about the plot, starring Eddie Marsan as John Darwin and Monica Dolan as Anne Darwin, is set to be released in April

    The pair were caught out when a photo showing them smiling in Panama after John was supposed to have died was found on the internet

    The pair were caught out when a photo showing them smiling in Panama after John was supposed to have died was found on the internet

    The drama will put a new spin on the fake death with Anne being portrayed as someone who was forced to go along with the plan by her narcissist husband.

    The makers of the series say it will show her as a bullied wife who is emotionally blackmailed into taking part in the scam and left devastated after her sons disowned her.

    Anne lives alone and looked in good health as she walked briskly from her home to village shops in the spring sunshine.

    She returned carrying a bunch of daffodils and stood chatting to a neighbour.

    The mother-of -two refused to comment when approached.

    Asked if she had been given a preview of the TV drama, 彼女は答えた: ‘I have nothing to say’.

    70-year-old Anne was seen talking to neighbours on the estate where she has moved in an effort to start afresh

    70-year-old Anne was seen talking to neighbours on the estate where she has moved in an effort to start afresh

    When approached by our reporter she declined to comment, and responded 'I have nothing to say' when asked if she had seen the upcoming drama

    When approached by our reporter she declined to comment, and responded ‘I have nothing to saywhen asked if she had seen the upcoming drama

    Anne moved to the sheltered housing six months ago having previously lived in York where she had a part time £10 an hour job with the RSPCA.

    1つの隣人, unaware of her past, 前記: ‘We simply know her as Anne. She is very quiet but friendly. She has never mentioned what she did, but then why should she.

    ‘I do remember the whole canoe story. It’s quite amusing that she is living here, but I suppose it was a long time ago and she is just getting on with her life.’

    Former doctor’s receptionist Anne and her 71-year-old husband, who now lives in the Philippines having re-married, were facing bankruptcy due to financial problems with their buy to let property portfolio when John hatched his plan.

    Anne reported him missing after she told police he had gone paddling in the sea in his canoe.

    Despite an extensive search his body was never found, although the canoe washed ashore.

    The following year he was declared dead but was living in a bedsit next door to his six-bedroom home.

    For five years he hid in a secret room at the family home and would listen to conversations through a dividing wall as his two sons Mark and Anthony visited to comfort their mum.

    Having successfully fooled everyone around them and pocketed the money, the couple successfully moved to Panama where they had seemingly got away with it.

    But their scam imploded when in December 2007 Darwin was forced to return to London to re-new his Panamanian visa.

    Her husband John was jailed for more than six years for fraud after the life insurance paid out on his 'death' was used to pay off the couple's debts

    Her husband John was jailed for more than six years for fraud after the life insurance paid out on his ‘deathwas used to pay off the couple’s debts

    Feeling homesick – and tired of not seeing his sons – he walked into a police station in central London and claimed he was suffering from amnesia and believed he was a missing person.

    Anne kept up the charade and expressed happiness that her husband had been found.

    But the scam unravelled when a newspaper published a photo of John and Anne smiling together with an estate agent in Panama taken a year before he claimed to be a missing person.

    John was arrested and Anne returned to Britain where she was charged with fraud and money laundering.

    At their 2008 trial Anne’s defence of marital coercion was rejected by the jury.

    She was given a harsher sentence than her husband as he pleaded guilty and was jailed for six years and three months.

    アン, who was described as a ‘compulsive liar’ by the police, was given a sentence of six years and six months.

    Both were released in 2011 with John moving to Manila in the Philippines where he married a mother of three called Mercy May.

    アン, pictured here outside court in 2007, has since divorced her husband and has reconnected with her two sons

    アン, pictured here outside court in 2007, has since divorced her husband and has reconnected with her two sons

    Anne divorced her husband and was able to re-build her relationship with her sons and shunned all publicity.

    She donated all proceeds from a book she wrote about the scam to the RSPCA and said her biggest regret was deceiving her sons.

    In her book ‘Out of my depth’ she spoke of her devastation that her sons refused to have anything to do with her and even gave evidence for the prosecution at her trial.

    アンは言った: ‘They refused to see or talk to me. The first time I set eyes on them was at my trial when Mark was first to testify against me. After he left the witness, he only lifted his eyes fleetingly to meet mine.

    ‘I was totally shocked by how dark and full of anger they were. To see that was absolutely horrendous.’

    As a convicted criminal Anne cannot benefit financially from her crime and had no involvement with the new ITV series.

    Her ex was also excluded from any involvement and has never spoken about his lies.

    One of her sons was said to have watched filming of the ITV series which took place near their former home, in Hartlepool with Portugal doubling as Panama.

    The TV series is written by Chris Lang who has penned the popular ‘Unforgotten’ series.

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