Fraudster’s first taste of freedom for Darwin

Anne Darwin seen in York

Anne Darwin seen in York

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FRAUDSTER Anne Darwin has taken her first trip out since being released from jail last week.

Darwin, 59, returned to the RSPCA centre in York where she worked while serving her six-and-a-half year sentence for an insurance fraud concocted with her husband John Darwin, 60.

John Darwin pictured after his release from prison

John Darwin pictured after his release from prison

She was released from Askham Grange women’s open prison, in York, last Wednesday after serving half of her sentence for illegally claiming life insurance and pensions when her husband faked his death in a canoe accident off the coast of Seaton Carew.

It has been reported that she is staying at a bail hostel in Leeds, West Yorkshire, rather than moving in with her husband in Easington Colliery.

Her former teacher and prison officer husband was released from Moorland open prison, in Doncaster, last month after he served half of his six-year and three-month sentence.

They were jailed after creating an elaborate story that John had died while out canoeing off Seaton Carew in 2002, allowing Anne to claim £250,000 in life insurance and pensions.

They lied to their sons, saying John had drowned, when in fact they had both decided to flee to Panama to live off their ill-gotten gains.

John walked into a UK police station in December 2007, claiming he was a missing person but had amnesia.

Their story began to unravel after a photo of the pair turned up on the internet.

Her appearance in public came after Ministry of Justice (MoJ) officials confirmed that criminals serving licence after being released early from a prison sentence can only go overseas in exceptional circumstances such as the death of a loved one abroad.

Both Anne and her husband will also be unable to make a penny from their illegal dealings due to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, which prevents people from cashing in on a crime, including “exploiting information about the offence”.

Any money they do make can be seized.

Anne’s £62,000 Panama apartment has been sold with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) expecting the money to be returned to the UK shortly, having already seized £157,720 from her back accounts in Britain and Jersey.

Land in Panama worth more than £230,000 and HSBC accounts totalling more than £140,000 in the country have not yet been confiscated.