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Canoe death fraudster John Darwin faces raid on his pension

By Tom Wilkinson

Canoe fraudster John Darwin may have to repay cash he cheated out of insurance companies after faking his own death now that a pension has matured, it has emerged.

The 63-year-old, who was jailed with his wife Anne in 2008 for fraud, appeared at Teesside Crown Court for a brief Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

A judge previously ordered him to repay £679,073 – but the divorced Darwin, who is claiming benefits, has only been able to hand back £122.

The Crown has now applied for him to repay more, as a pension has matured.

John Darwin was reported missing in a canoe in the North Sea in March 2002. His wife collected more than £500,000 in life insurance payouts, while he hid in their home, leaving their two sons to believe he was dead.

In December 2007, Darwin walked into a London police station, claiming he had amnesia. His wife, who had fled with him to Panama, pretended to be shocked until a photograph emerged of them posing together after his supposed death.

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