Back-from-Dead Canoeist Wrote Daily to Wife on Remand

Article excerpt

Back-from-the-dead canoeist John Darwin wrote to his wife daily while they were in prison on remand following their pounds 250,000 fraud charges, a court heard yesterday.

Anne Darwin, 56, was accused of making a "last-ditch" attempt at clearing her name by telling lies under cross-examination at Teesside Crown Court.

She told the jury she threw flowers into the sea on the anniversary of her husband's "death" to comfort sons Mark, aged 32, and 29 year-old Anthony, who believed he had drowned and were unaware of their parents' insurance scam to clear debts and start a new life in Panama.

The former doctor's receptionist said her husband wrote daily when they were on remand and she eventually asked him to stop.

"He used to write to me. Always, every day. His letters would be repetitive," she told David Waters QC, defending, under re-examination.

She told him to stop after reading an article in a newspaper in February claiming he had been writing to another woman.

"I had requested him to stop writing to me," she told the court. "His letters came and often I didn't open them. I didn't want to read them and I asked him to stop writing."

Darwin denies six counts of deception and nine counts of money laundering.

She is mounting a defence of "marital coercion", meaning her husband forced her to break the law, and was present when each offence was committed. …