Darwins ‘will not get cash’

Anne and John Darwin
Anne and John Darwin

PROSECUTORS have vowed to claw back funds from canoe cheats John and Anne Darwin.

The Crown Prosecution Service says it is working to repatriate the Darwin’s cash fortune from Panama back to Britain.

A lawyer is currently working with the HSBC bank, where the pair have £144,000 in three accounts, while a £62,000 flat and a plot of land worth £232,000 is up for sale.

All of the cash is expected to be brought back to the UK by the authorities and not fall back into the hands of the infamous Hartlepool couple.

This is despite reports in the national media over the weekend that the Darwins would be able to profit from the fake death scam and pocket both the cash from their assets and bank accounts in Panama due to a blunder by CPS lawyers.

A CPS spokeswoman told the Mail the reports were “not correct” and said the procedure would take time.

She said: “There’s an enforcement receiver appointed to recover the assets in Panama.

“He is in touch with the HSBC over the Darwins’ bank accounts and we’ve received no indication that repatriation of the funds is not possible.

“The same goes for the flat and the land, but they have to be sold.

“Obviously a buyer will have to be found and, as anyone who has bought and sold property before knows, that takes time.

“Therefore we can’t put a timescale on it.”

The Darwins, formerly of The Cliff, Seaton Carew, fiddled £679,194 from pensions and life insurance payouts after the former prison warden faked his own death in a canoeing accident in 2002.

They fled to Panama, in Central America, but were jailed when their scam was exposed by a picture which appeared on the internet.

He was freed from prison last month after serving half of his six years three month sentence, while Mrs Darwin is also due to be released over the coming weeks after being given six and a half years at Teesside Crown Court.