Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 12:37 UK

Timeline: 'Missing' canoe man

"Back-from-the-dead" canoeist John Darwin faked his own death at sea in 2002 but walked into a London police station more than five years later.

He has admitted deception and his wife, Anne Darwin, has been found guilty of fraudulently claiming 250,000 after helping him fake his own death.

This is how the story unfolded.

21 March 2002 John Darwin, then aged 51, is seen entering the sea with his kayak in the Seaton Carew area near Hartlepool, Teesside.

The alarm is not raised until about 2130 GMT when he fails to arrive for his night shift as a prison officer.

22 March 2002 A massive search is launched along the coastline from Hartlepool down to Staithes, North Yorkshire, to no avail.

Several weeks later the shattered remains of John Darwin's red kayak are found washed up on the beach.

August 2002 A body is found off the coast of Hartlepool. John Darwin's wife Anne bursts into tears and tells police she wants it to be her husband's body so he can be laid to rest.

September 2002 Cleveland police renew their appeal over John Darwin's disappearance without success.

March 2003 Anne Darwin marks the first anniversary of her husband's "death" by taking flowers to the sea where the battered canoe was found.

April 2003 At an inquest into John Darwin's death, the Hartlepool coroner records an open verdict.

Subsequently, Anne Darwin collects life insurance and pension policies worth about 250,000.

2006 A photograph is taken of the Darwins in Panama. The picture is later to emerge in the British press.

September 2007 Cleveland police reopen their investigation after receiving new undisclosed information that raises their suspicions into John Darwin's disappearance.

October 2007 Anne Darwin buys an apartment in Panama and leaves the UK.

1 December 2007 John Darwin walks into West End Central police station in London at 1730 GMT and tells police: "I think I am a missing person".

Hours earlier, Anne Darwin had sent her husband an e-mail from Panama asking him not to leave her.

5 December 2007 John Darwin is arrested by Cleveland police on suspicion of fraud. The Daily Mirror publishes the picture of the Darwins taken in Panama.

8 December 2007 John Darwin is charged with obtaining a money transfer by deception and making an untrue statement to obtain a passport.

9 December 2007 Anne Darwin is arrested as she arrives back in the UK.

11 December 2007 Anne Darwin is remanded in custody on charges of deception.

17 December 2007 Detectives who interviewed the Darwins' sons conclude they are innocent "victims".

13 March 2008 John Darwin admits at Leeds Crown Court to seven charges of obtaining cash by deception and to a passport offence.

Anne Darwin denies six charges of deception and nine of using criminal property.

14 July 2008 The trial of Anne Darwin opens at Teesside Crown Court.

23 July 2008 Anne Darwin convicted at Teesside Crown Court of helping her husband John fake his own death.


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