Canoe conman is looking for love

John Darwin, the 'canoe man' who faked his own death to escape debts.
John Darwin, the 'canoe man' who faked his own death to escape debts.
Share this article

CANOE conman John Darwin is set to divorce wife Anne in the hope he can find love and maybe marry again.

Darwin, who famously faked his own death in 2002, told how he has not had contact with Anne – who aided him in his scheme – for almost a year.

But in an interview on ITV, he told presenter Lorraine Kelly he had filed for divorce so he could be free to marry again.

Darwin, 61, said he had not yet met anyone special and was wary of kiss-and-tell stories appearing in the national press.

He said: “I have put divorce papers in because I don’t want to look at four walls for the rest of my life.

“I want to be free if I want to marry again.

“I will be divorced in the new year. I want to start a new life with the media off my back.”

Darwin said he had not had any contact with Anne since Boxing Day last year when they were both serving prison sentences.

He said: “She won’t answer my letters, won’t answer the phone when I tried to contact her.

“I do know where she lives, but I’m not going to bother her.”

Darwin, who now lives in a bungalow in Seaton Carew, also said his sons Mark and Anthony had not forgiven him for letting them think he was dead for five years.

He said: “It was very cruel. I was in a state of mind where you don’t think anyone else cares about you.

“I thought I was worth more dead than alive.”

Darwin went missing in march 2002 after an apparent canoeing accident, but came “back from the dead” in December 2007 when he walked into a London police station claiming amnesia.

He added: “I always intended to come back to see my sons.”

The former prison guard kept diaries during his double life and while he was in prison, some of which have been published.

But he said he had given them away as he still owes authorities £700,000 and is not allowed to profit from his crime.

Darwin was jailed for six years and three months in July 2008.

He was released in January after serving around half his sentence.

Anne, 59, who was locked up for six-and-a-half years but released in March.