Hartlepool’s canoe conman John Darwin jailed for 28 days

John Darwin in Seaton Carew

John Darwin in Seaton Carew

CANOE conman John Darwin is back behind bars after jetting 1,500 miles abroad to look for love.

Darwin, 63, breached the terms of his early release from prison for faking his own death by flying to the Ukraine to meet up with a 25-year-old blonde he met on an internet dating site.

He was photographed in a national newspaper with the woman named Anna last month and had spent several weeks away from his Seaton Carew home.

But Darwin was arrested by police on his return to the UK when he stepped off the aeroplane alone at Newcastle Airport on Monday.

The journey to the town of Sumy was undertaken without the permission of the Probation Service.

He needed its authority to travel because he was still on licence after being sentenced to six years and three months for fraud.

Darwin was released halfway through his stretch in January 2011, but was required to stick to certain conditions, including not leaving the UK.

Police confirmed yesterday that he had been whisked back to prison for the breach.

It is understood he will have to serve 28 days rather than the full remainder of his sentence as he is not classed as a high risk offender.

But he may be subject to stricter conditions on his liberty when he is released.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “Offenders on licence are liable to recall to jail if they breach any of their licence conditions.”

Darwin was jailed in 2007 after admitting a host of fraud charges relating to the faking of his own death in a canoe accident off Seaton Carew in 2002.

After being declared dead his then-wife Anne Darwin, who was also jailed for her part in the con, claimed hundreds of thousands of pounds from insurance policies and pension schemes.

They began a secret new life in Panama, in Central America, even though the couple’s two sons believed he was dead.

But the scam was revealed when Darwin walked into a London police station six years ago claiming to have lost his memory.

According to reports last month, Darwin enjoyed a two-hour meal with his new date assisted by a translator.

But she was soon reported to have dumped him after labelling him a “sex-starved criminal”.




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