'Back-from-the-dead' canoeist launches appeal bid
Friday, September 05 2008 @ 02:02 PM UTC
Contributed by: Don Winner
The judge who sentenced the Darwins said they had carried out a "determined, sustained and sophisticated" fraud to claim 250,000 pounds in life insurance.
The judge said the sons' lives were "crushed" by the deception.
Anne Darwin has already launched an appeal bid against both her conviction and the six-year, six-month sentence she received for her part in the hoax.
The plot involved her husband paddling out to sea in a canoe near the couple's home in Seaton Carew, northeast England, in March 2002.
His 56-year-old wife later picked him up from the beach, smuggled him inland and told emergency services he was lost at sea.
After some time living away, John Darwin moved back to the family home and lived in secret in a bedsit, posing as a handyman if visitors called.
He later obtained a passport under a false name and moved to Panama, where his wife joined him last year. They had bought a flat and land there which they hoped to transform into a canoeing centre.
But in December, he flew back to Britain and handed himself in to police, claiming amnesia and telling officers: "I think I'm a missing person."
Anne Darwin initially claimed to be shocked by her husband's "reappearance", but her story was revealed to be a lie when a photograph surfaced showing the couple posing in Panama in 2006.