The thief, his wife and the canoe

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through certain links in this article.

  • There’s a new ITV drama that hasn’t even hit screens yet and it already has fans wanting to know more – it’s called The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe and fans already want to know what happened to John and Anne Darwin?

    There’s nothing quite like a drama like No Return or Undeniable on the ITV hub to help pass the evenings and the broadcaster has another crack show for its TV schedules.

    This time it follows the true story of a couple who faked a death to escape their debt – but focuses on the role of Anne, her lies and a new theme of forgiveness. Played by Bafta-winning Monica Dolan, Anne’s inner monologue tells the story as Eddie Marsan plays the narcissist John.

    No member of the Darwin family was involved in the making of The Thief His Wife and The Canoe, although the script is based on court documents, police interviews, television appearances and newspaper articles. . But we look at what happened to the married couple in real life…

    The thief, his wife and the canoe: what happened to John and Anne Darwin?

    John and Anne Darwin were both convicted of fraud on July 23, 2008 – John was arrested and charged with fraud and they were each sentenced to more than six years in prison – John was sentenced to six years and three months after admitting eight charges of deception , while Anne was sentenced to six-and-a-half years for fraud and money laundering.

    For anyone unfamiliar with the actual news, Anne helped her husband fraudulently collect his £250,000 life insurance and pensions after helping him fake his own death at sea when the remains of his canoe were were found on a beach at Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool, Teesside in March 2002.

    A body was never found, but at the time search and rescue presumed he was dead and the couple managed to fool insurers, police and even their two sons into thinking their father was dead.

    But John was alive and living next door, without anyone – except his wife – knowing about it.

    The fraudulent death also allowed the couple to pay off their £130,000 mortgage.

    How did John Darwin get caught?

    John Darwin got captured in 2007 because the couple had been photographed together in Panama a year earlier, where they planned to live. John lived under the pseudonym “John Jones”. However, changes to Panama’s visa laws meant that his identity had to be verified by British police.

    John knew his new identity wouldn’t pass that level of scrutiny, so the former teacher and prison officer suddenly reappeared at a London police station in 2008, claiming he had lost his memory for the past five years .

    Anne Darwin was arrested on her way home from Panama, where she was found after her husband entered a London police station, claiming to remember nothing since his disappearance five years ago following a an apparent canoeing accident.

    At the time, his wife Anne confessed to knowing that her husband was alive and secretly living in their house and the house next door, which allowed him to illegally receive the insurance money for his own gain. staff.

    They were later convicted, with John and Anne jailed in 2008.

    MIDDLESBOROUGH, UNITED KINGDOM – DECEMBER 10: Cleveland Police Detective Superintendent Tony Hutchinson holds the fake passport photo of John Darwin, the canoeist who showed up after he was presumed dead in 2002, on December 10, 2007, in Middlesborough, England. John Darwin and his wife Anne are both currently in custody and being questioned by police after returning from Atlanta yesterday to Manchester Airport where she was arrested. John Darwin was charged with deception after he was thought to have died at sea when the remains of his canoe were found on a beach at Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool, Teesside, in March 2002. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Pictures)

    Where is Anne Darwin and where does she live?

    Anne Darwin was released from prison in March 2011 and now lives in York and has reconciled with his sons Mark and Anthony.

    Anne and John divorced shortly after they were both released – although John told her that rekindling their marriage upon release from prison. John later admitted he wanted to be with a younger partner and the two ended their marriage after 38 years together.

    Before her release, Anne appealed against her sentence, but her case was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in March 2009. She therefore served her full sentence and after her release from prison, the prosecution announced that £500,000 of life insurance and pension payments received by Anne had been recovered.

    Anne Darwin

    The wife of Briton ‘back from the dead’ John Darwin, Anne Darwin (L), leaves Manchester Airport police station December 09, 2007 before being handed over to Cleveland police, who run the investigation. Anne Darwin was arrested on her return from Panama, where she was found after her husband entered a London police station last weekend, claiming to remember nothing since his disappearance five years ago in following an apparent canoeing accident. “Greater Manchester Police have arrested a 55-year-old woman in connection with allegations of fraud in connection with an investigation by Cleveland Police,” a police spokeswoman said December 09, 2007. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP via Getty Images)

    Where is John Darwin now?

    John Darwin is said to be now settled in the Philippines with his wife of 47 years. The crook, 70, and the bride Mercy May recently moved from the crowded capital of Manila to a property about 30 minutes away, according to The mirror.

    It is understood John and Mercy May married in 2015 after an online romance but were unable to settle in the UK due to immigration concerns.

    The newspaper reports his new wife, is a mum-of-three and is sub-letting her clothes stall in the town market and running another retail business, while John is still set to receive a UK state pension of around £134 a week and are believed to have rented the property next to their new home.

    Mercy May told the publication, “I have a new business. I’ve had it for three years now. Boom. Making money.”

    John Darwin

    UNDATED: This Cleveland Police photograph shows John Darwin. On July 23, 2008, his wife Anne Darwin was convicted of five counts of obtaining money by deception, obtaining property by deception, and nine of money laundering. John Darwin’s wife Anne has been found guilty of fraudulently claiming £250,000 in insurance and pension policies after she helped her husband fake his own death at sea when the remains of his boat were found on a beach at Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool, Teesside, in March. 2002. (Photo by Cleveland Police via Getty Images)

    The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe is a drama set to air on ITV in April.