Canoe fraudster John Darwin to repay £40,000

John Darwin leaving Teesside Crown Court Image copyright PA
Image caption Darwin has to pay back £40,000 from his matured pension over the next year

Convicted canoe death fraudster John Darwin has been ordered to pay back £40,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Darwin, 63, of Seaton Carew, Teesside, faked his own death in 2002 so his then-wife Anne could claim £500,000.

He was previously ordered to repay £679,073 he cheated out of insurance companies.

Teesside Crown Court ordered Darwin to pay back £40,000 in a lump sum from two matured pensions over the next year.

The court heard divorced Darwin, who is claiming benefits, had only paid back £121 of the money he was told to repay.

The former teacher and prison officer did not challenge the application by the Crown to have the money removed from his bank accounts, which are the subject of restraints.

His pensions were understood to be legitimately earned.

'Not the end'

John Darwin was reported missing in a canoe in the North Sea in March 2002.

His wife collected more than £500,000 in life insurance payouts, while he hid in their home, leaving their two sons believing he was dead.

In December 2007, he walked into a London police station, claiming to have amnesia.

His wife, who had fled with him to Panama, pretended to be shocked until a photograph emerged of them posing together after his supposed death.

Image copyright Other
Image caption John and Anne Darwin were infamously photographed in Panama in 2006

She was later jailed for six-and-a-half years for fraud and money laundering.

Earlier this year, police said John Darwin was being investigated again under the Proceeds of Crime Act regarding possible "undeclared assets".

After the pair were jailed, assets including an apartment in Panama City and an overgrown plot of land near the artificial Lake Gatun were seized and sold.

The Crown Prosecution Service was granted a confiscation order to retrieve the money Anne Darwin received from her insurance companies and pension funds.

After the hearing, Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, said this was "not the end of the matter" for John Darwin and should he come into more money in the future, further applications to take back the cash would be made.

He made no comment as he left court.

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