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'Canoe Man's' wife charged with deception

  • Story Highlights
  • Police make fresh appeal for information on "Canoe Man" John Darwin
  • Darwin, 57, presumed dead for five years, appeared in court Monday
  • Charged with two counts of fraud related to a passport and life insurance claim
  • Wife Anne Darwin charged with two offenses of deception
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- The British man who reappeared five years after he was believed to have drowned, appeared in court Monday, and his wife was charged with two counts of deception.


Detective Superintendent Tony Hutchinson shows a photo of a bearded John Darwin.

John Darwin, 57, appeared at Hartlepool Magistrates' Court in the northeast of England accused of obtaining £25,000 ($50,000) by deception and making an untrue statement to procure a passport, a spokeswoman for the court told CNN.

The court spokeswoman said Darwin was remanded in custody until December 14 when he will reappear at the same court via video link. No application for bail was made and none was granted, she said. He entered no plea, the spokeswoman said.

The first charge dates back to May 2003, when Darwin is accused of obtaining money fraudulently from Unat Direct Insurance Management Ltd. by falsely claiming that he had been killed in an accident the previous year.

Darwin's court appearance came as his wife, Anne, was charged with two offenses of deception, one relating to obtaining the £25,000 by cash transfer and the other relating to obtaining £137,000 by cash transfer. She is expected in court Tuesday, police said.

She was arrested by police Sunday after she flew in to Britain on a flight from via Atlanta, Georgia. She had been living in Panama City, Panama.

Police investigating "Canoe Man" John Darwin's disappearance made a fresh appeal for sightings during the five years he was believed dead, issuing a new image and detailing another name he may have used.

Detective Superintendent Tony Hutchinson said Darwin may have gone under the name of "John Jones" and grown a long brown beard during his absence.

"We need to know if anyone has seen John Darwin in United Kingdom after his 'death,' " Hutchinson, of northeast England's Cleveland Police force, told a news conference.

Darwin was declared dead by a coroner after the remains of a kayak he paddled into the North Sea washed up on shore in 2002.

The former prison officer and teacher walked into a central London police station last week.


A massive air and sea rescue operation was launched in March 2002, when Darwin went missing.

Within 24 hours, the kayak paddle was recovered by police near the area where he was thought to have disappeared and, two months later, the remains of his kayak washed up on the coast. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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