Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Canoe Man in Baby Name Link

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Canoe Man in Baby Name Link

Article excerpt

Byline: By JAMES JOHNSTON

BACK-FROM-THE-DEAD canoeist John Darwin stole the identity of a dead month-old boy to get a false passport, it was claimed today.

He is reported to have scoured graveyards and records in local papers searching for a name he could use after he vanished in an apparent kayak tragedy off Seaton Carew in 2002.

Eventually, police believe, the 57-year-old prison officer chanced on John Jones - a baby born five months before him, but who died a month later.

Reports in today's Daily Mirror, the Gazette's sister paper, say the baby's family are appalled by the claim.

His sister said: "This is terrible. How low can you get? It makes me shake to think of it."

Darwin is believed to have used John's name to acquire a birth certificate.

He then allegedly used the document alongside a black and white photo of himself sporting a long bushy beard to get a passport.

It is claimed the fake ID was used on trips to Gibraltar and Spain to view a sailing boat in 2005, and last year to travel to Panama City and Costa Rica with his wife Anne, 55.

Darwin, formerly of Seaton Carew, is accused of making an untrue statement to procure a passport and dishonestly obtaining pounds 25,000.

John Jones was born on March 27, 1950, at his gran's home in Sunderland. He died five weeks later from enteritis at the city's Hospital for Infectious Diseases.

His sister Frieda Woods, 55, who lives close to the cemetery where her brother is buried, said: "It's terrible to think that this man may have usedmy brother's name in his scheme. I feel terrible, it's such a shock. When I heard Darwin was using the name John Jones, I did think 'That's my brother's name'. But I never thought Darwin could have stolen it from him."

Darwin is in custody and is due to reappear in court on Friday.

The first charge Darwin faces is that he fraudulently obtained pounds 25,000 from Unat Direct Insurance Management Limited by deception, by falsely representing that he had been killed in an accident. His second charge relates to making statements known to be untrue to obtain a passport. …

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