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Last Updated: Monday, 10 December 2007, 23:46 GMT
Canoeist's wife charged by police
Anne Darwin and a police officer
Anne Darwin was arrested after flying back to the UK from Panama
The wife of "missing" canoeist John Darwin has been charged with two counts of deception.

Anne Darwin, 55, is due in court in Hartlepool, Teesside, on Tuesday.

She is accused of dishonestly obtaining 25,000 in life insurance and a further sum of 137,000, both by money transfer in 2003, Cleveland Police said.

Mrs Darwin was arrested on Sunday after returning to the UK from Panama. Mr Darwin, 57, has been charged with two offences and remanded in custody.

The first charge he faces is that he fraudulently obtained 25,000 from Unat Direct Insurance Management Limited by deception, by falsely representing that he had been killed in an accident.

'Anxious for reunion'

His second charge relates to making statements known to be untrue to obtain a passport.

Mr Darwin, a former prison officer, went missing in March 2002 and was presumed to have drowned at sea at Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool.

Photograph police believe may show John Darwin
Cleveland Police have released this photograph of John Darwin

But he walked into a London police station on 1 December, saying he could not remember what had happened to him.

On Monday night, Mr Darwin's solicitor, John Nixon, said: "He is desperate to see his wife, to be reunited with her. He is anxious to know about her wellbeing.

"It is their wedding anniversary in 10 days. They are going to spend their wedding day apart. He is anxious for everything to be resolved. He is in good shape, bearing up."

Earlier on Monday, Cleveland Police released a new photograph of Mr Darwin, with a beard, as he may have looked during the five years that he was missing.

The picture was taken from a bogus travel document Mr Darwin had allegedly used in the name of "John Jones", police said.

"That's how John Darwin was presenting himself," Det Supt Tony Hutchinson told a press conference.

Mrs Darwin was arrested at Manchester Airport on Sunday.

She had moved to Panama after selling the family home in Seaton Carew.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said the force would apply for her to be remanded in custody at Tuesday's court hearing.

'Dreadfully sorry'

Mr and Mrs Darwin have two sons, Anthony and Mark, and Det Supt Hutchinson said there was nothing to suggest they were anything other than "victims".

"They have been led to believe for the last five years that their father is dead. He then walks back into their lives with apparent amnesia," he said.

"I feel dreadfully, dreadfully sorry for them."

The detective also renewed his appeal for information.

"We need to know where both Mr and Mrs Darwin have been, both in Europe and North and South America and, of course, we need to know what they have been saying," he said.

"We need to know who they have been with, and we need to know what they have been doing."



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Anne Darwin with police



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