Fraudster Darwin facing jail return

Messenger Newspapers: Back-from-the-dead fraudster John Darwin faces a return to prison after he left the UK without permission Back-from-the-dead fraudster John Darwin faces a return to prison after he left the UK without permission

Back-from-the-dead canoe fraudster John Darwin will be behind bars this Christmas after he was arrested on his return from an unauthorised trip abroad to find a new wife.

The 63-year-old had travelled to the Ukraine and was photographed last month by the Sun newspaper on a date with a statuesque local woman who was wearing a mini-skirt.

The 1,500-mile journey from his home in Hartlepool 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.

He was released from jail in January 2011, but was required to stick to certain conditions, including not leaving the UK.

He was arrested yesterday at Newcastle Airport as he flew back to Britain, without a new wife.

A source close to the case indicated that Darwin would be required to complete the rest of his sentence behind bars when the authorities caught up with him. It is thought he will not be free again until October.

According to reports last month, Darwin and his date, a Ukrainian woman named Anna, enjoyed a two-hour meal assisted by a translator, but the evening was ruined when he was confronted by a reporter.

It was believed Darwin first made contact with the woman over the internet.

Darwin faked his own death in a canoeing accident in 2002 so his then-wife Anne could claim hundreds of thousands of pounds from insurance policies and pension schemes.

The couple, from Seaton Carew, were jailed at Teesside Crown Court in 2008 for the swindle, which deceived the police, a coroner, financial institutions and even their sons, Mark and Anthony.

After faking his own death, Darwin continued to live in secret with his wife before they escaped to Panama to start a new life.

But in December 2007 Darwin walked into a London police station, claiming he had amnesia, and was reunited with his stunned sons.

His wife, then still in Panama, initially also claimed to be surprised - until a photograph emerged of them posing together.

Darwin admitted fraud so received a slightly shorter sentence than Anne, who denied the offences. They have now divorced.

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