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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 December 2007, 15:59 GMT
Canoeist wife arrested back in UK
Anne Darwin and a police officer
Anne Darwin is back in the UK and being interviewed by police
The wife of John Darwin, the canoeist who turned up after being presumed dead, has been arrested as she arrived back in the UK.

Anne Darwin, who had been living in Panama in Central America, was detained at 0925 GMT at Manchester Airport on suspicion of fraud.

She was held at the airport for about three hours before being driven to Hartlepool police station.

Cleveland Police have already charged Mr Darwin with deception offences.


A spokeswoman for the force confirmed Mrs Darwin had returned on an overnight flight from Atlanta.

Once at Hartlepool police station, Mrs Darwin was undergoing a medical examination before being questioned by detectives.

Mrs Darwin's detention follows the arrest of Mr Darwin, 57, at his son's house in Basingstoke, Hampshire, on Tuesday on suspicion of fraud.

The former home of John Darwin in Seaton Carew
Anne Darwin sold the couple's home in Seaton Carew

It had been thought the former prison officer had died at sea after the remains of his canoe were found on a beach in Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool, Teesside, in March 2002.

But he turned up at a north London police station last weekend, claiming he could not remember what had happened to him.

He is due before Hartlepool magistrates on Monday charged with obtaining life insurance money by deception and making an untrue statement to get a passport.

Police said an application would be made on Monday to keep him in custody, where he was said to be "fit and well" on Saturday night.

Newspaper interviews

After Mr Darwin turned up in London it emerged Mrs Darwin had recently moved to Panama, having sold the family home in Seaton Carew.

John Darwin
John Darwin was presumed dead for more than five years.

A photograph then surfaced showing her alongside her husband in Panama last year. It has yet to be independently verified.

Detectives had issued appeals for Mrs Darwin to get in touch with them.

Now they will be able to question her about details of interviews she has given to newspaper journalists.

Speaking before Mrs Darwin's return to Britain, Det Sgt Iain Henderson of Cleveland Police said he could not say whether further charges would be brought in the case.

He was also unable to say whether the investigation would be extended to include other members of the Darwin family.

The couple's sons, Anthony and Mark, previously released a statement saying they had been through a "rollercoaster of emotions" after finding out their father was alive.

Anne Darwin is escorted by a police officer


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