Saturday, December 8, 2007


‘Dead’ man’s wife faces arrest when she returns to Britain from Peru
A woman who admitted knowing her husband was alive despite his apparent death five years ago faces arrest when she returns to Britain, police said amid reports she was heading home Friday. Anne Darwin is likely to be arrested “at some point” after she arrives from Panama, a police spokesman said, as her husband John remained in custody after being detained on suspicion of fraud Panamian officials said late Thursday they had no information on whether Anne Darwin had left the central American country, prompting speculation she may have gone into hiding before heading home. The twists and turns of the case have dominated the British media, with focus on a statement from the couple’s sons, who disowned their parents for keeping them in the dark about the truth. “How could our mum continue to let us believe our dad had died when he was very much alive?” Anthony Darwin, 29, and his brother, Mark, 31, said Thursday. “We have not spoken to either of our parents since our dad’s arrest and at this present time, we want no further contact with them.” Anne Darwin, 55, was quoted as saying in newspaper interviews published Friday that she blamed her husband for the elaborate pretence and pleaded for her sons’ forgiveness. “I should never have listened to John, but he can be very persuasive. Of course, I’m to blame, too. I know I have done wrong. I just wish I had told the boys when I found out,” she told the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail newspapers. “I’m sure they would have talked some sense into me. But I didn’t. I didn’t tell anyone. And one lie led to another. “How can they ever forgive me for what I’ve done to them?” Former teacher and prison officer John Darwin, 57, was declared dead in 2003, a year after the remains of his canoe were washed up on the shore near the family home in Seaton Carew, in north-east England. But he turned up unexpectedly at a central London police station last Saturday, telling officers he thought he was a missing person, and had no memory of the last five years.- AFP The story began to unravel after a photograph of him posing with his wife and an estate agent in Panama City last July that appeared on the property company’s website was published in the British media. Confronted by reporters who tracked her down to her new home there, Anne Darwin—who initially hailed her husband’s re-appearance — broke down and confessed, admitting she knew he was not dead and had cashed in life insurance. John Darwin, whose sons said he had no memory of anything since June 2000, was arrested Wednesday. Police said they were to apply to a local magistrate Friday for an extension to keep him in custody for further questioning. The case has attracted massive media attention not only for its unusual nature, but also because of the questions that remain unanswered. It is still not clear why John Darwin disappeared in the first place, where he has been for the last five and a half years, how he travelled to Panama, and why he gave himself up. Detectives have said they began investigating his case three months ago after receiving information that suggested there was something suspicious of a “financial” nature about his disappearance. Anne Darwin told newspapers he used a false passport to travel to Panama, speculating that her husband missed their sons “tremendously”. “Maybe he wanted his old life back,” she said -AFP