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Friday, May 24 2019 @ 01:36 PM UTC

'Back-from-the-dead' canoeist launches appeal bid

Expat Tales LONDON (AFP) — John Darwin, who faked his death in a canoeing accident so he and his wife could claim a life insurance payout, has launched a bid to appeal against his jail sentence, his lawyer said Friday. Darwin, 58, was jailed in July for six years and three months after admitting faking his own death to allow his wife Anne make fraudulent insurance and pension claims in a scam which fooled even their two sons. Darwin's solicitor, John Nixon, said he had made an application to the courts for the right to challenge the sentence. Nixon said: "It is an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal. "An application will go before a single judge who will either grant leave to appeal or if that is refused, Mr Darwin will likely ask the full Court of Appeal for the right to be heard." (more)

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.

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