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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 11:10 GMT
Canoe couple remanded in custody
John and Anne Darwin
John and Anne Darwin appeared separately in court via video link
Canoeist John Darwin, who reappeared after being presumed dead, and his wife have been remanded in custody to await committal to the crown court.

Mr Darwin, 57, and wife Anne, 55, are jointly accused of six counts of obtaining money by deception, totalling nearly 250,000.

The pair were remanded by Hartlepool magistrates to reappear on 15 February.

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.

Brief hearings

The following year a coroner officially declared him dead.

The couple appeared separately, via video link, and were told they would reappear before the court next month for a committal hearing.

During brief hearings, the couple spoke only to confirm that they could hear proceedings and give their full names.

Mr Darwin wore a light blue open neck shirt and dark blue jeans as he appeared from Durham Prison.

A short time later, Mrs Darwin appeared on video link from Low Newton Prison.

No application for bail was made.

Life insurance

The pair are 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 are also accused of dishonestly obtaining a 25,000 life insurance payment.

The couple were charged by police with further offences on 8 January of dishonestly obtaining sums of 2,000 and 2,273 from the Department for Work & Pensions Bereavement Benefit Scheme in 2003.

Police also charged the couple with obtaining 137,000 from Norwich Union Life Services Ltd.

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

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The magistrates court where the hearing took place



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