Page last updated at 10:36 GMT, Friday, 14 December 2007

Christmas in prison for Darwins

John and Anne Darwin
John Darwin and his wife Anne are being held in custody

Canoeist John Darwin, who reappeared after being presumed dead, and his wife Anne will both spend Christmas behind bars after being remanded in custody.

Mr Darwin, 57, and Mrs Darwin, 55, appeared separately via video link before Hartlepool Magistrates' Court and were remanded until 11 January.

Mr Darwin walked into a London police station on 1 December after being presumed dead for more than five years.

Both are charged with dishonestly obtaining insurance money.

Mr Darwin is also charged with making an untrue statement to procure a passport in addition to dishonestly obtaining 25,000.

Mrs Darwin, who arrived back in the UK from Panama on 9 December, is accused of dishonestly obtaining a 25,000 life insurance payment and a policy worth 137,000 which settled her mortgage in the event of his death.

Panama move

Mr Darwin disappeared from his home in March 2002 and was presumed drowned after his wrecked canoe was found.

The following year a coroner officially declared him dead.

Since her husband's disappearance Mrs Darwin had sold the family home, in Seaton Carew and moved to Panama.

She was arrested at Manchester Airport when she flew back to England.

The couple's sons Mark, 32, and Anthony, 29, released a statement saying they wanted no more contact with their parents and police do not believe the sons are suspects.


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