Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

They Didn't Seem the Type to Mix with People

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

They Didn't Seem the Type to Mix with People

Article excerpt

Byline: By NAOMI CORRIGAN

WHEN the Darwins bought the adjoining properties on The Cliff in 2000, Keith Bradley was already a tenant there.

He rented one of the rooms in the house next door to the couple's former home.

"I was already there when they moved in, I was there for about five years," he said. "They told me it was their dream to live by the seaside and he had all these ideas for these businesses he wanted to develop.

"They didn't seem the type to mix with people to be honest. They spoke to you and I used to talk to them for a few minutes, just general chit-chat, but they weren't sociable people.

"I didn't see them much, only when I paid my rent. I didn't spend that much time there."

Mr Bradley, a 61-year-old bricklayer from Hartlepool, said several incidents and conversations aroused his suspicions about the couple after John's disappearance.

He recalled speaking to John Darwin shortly before the disappearance.

"About three weeks before he disappeared he mentioned to me that he had suffered a mild heart attack," he said. So he was obviously planting the seed there.

"How many people do you know go out in a canoe on the North Sea in March three weeks after they have had a heart attack?

"I always thought it was very strange but she was one hell of an actress to be honest. She didn't give the impression that there was anything dodgy going on.

"Then again looking back she didn't seem that upset. It was probably a couple of weeks after he disappeared that I first saw her.

"She didn't seem tormented or like someone who had lost someone at that sort of age. She seemed more interested in getting all the formalities organised - trying to get him officially declared dead.

"I never actually met the sons when they would have been there. I think one of them used to come quite regularly, all I saw was one car that was obviously one of the sons. …

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