Page last updated at 11:06 GMT, Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Further charges for canoe couple

John and Anne Darwin
John and Anne Darwin already face deception charges

Back-from-the-dead canoeist John Darwin and his wife Anne have reappeared in court charged with further offences.

Mr Darwin, 57, and his wife, 55, are already charged with dishonestly obtaining money transfer by deception.

They were remanded in custody by magistrates in Hartlepool until 18 January accused of further counts of deception, relating to pensions.

Mr Darwin walked into a police station on 1 December after going missing from his Teesside home in March 2002.

He disappeared from his home in Seaton Carew and was presumed drowned after the wreck of his canoe was found.

Pension scheme

The following year a coroner officially declared him dead.

The brief 10 minute court hearing on Wednesday, was the first time the couple had appeared in court together. They both spoke only to confirm their names and ages.

The pair were jointly accused of obtaining 25,186 in 2003 from Capita Hartshead Teachers' Pension Scheme by deception and dishonestly obtaining 58,845 from the same scheme between 2003 and 2007.

They were further charged with dishonestly obtaining sums of 2,000 and 2,273 from the Department for Work & Pensions Bereavement Benefit Scheme in 2003.

Mr Darwin also faces a further charge of dishonestly obtaining 137,000 from Norwich Union Life Services Ltd, which is a charge Mrs Darwin was already facing.

Airport arrest

No application for bail was made.

Mr Darwin wore a black leather jacket, cream jumper and blue shirt, while his wife wore a blue sweatshirt and stripy T-shirt. They were each flanked by a dock officer.

The couple's solicitors said their clients would not be entering pleas at this stage of the proceedings.

Following her husband's disappearance Mrs Darwin sold the family home 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, have said they want no further contact with their parents and police have said their sons are not suspects.

Mr Darwin also faces a charge of making an untrue statement to procure a passport.

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