From the archives: ‘Betrayed’ sons tell of their anger over canoeist’s fake death, 16 July, 2008

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THE “betrayed” sons of Anne and John Darwin told yesterday how their shock at losing their father turned to anger when they discovered his death was an elaborate lie.

Mark and Anthony Darwin’s surprise at their father’s return after more than five years being presumed dead turned to rage that they had been deceived for so long. They realised they had been fooled when a damning photograph of their smiling parents appeared on the internet, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The staged death was part of a plan by their parents to escape a financial crisis by defrauding insurance companies of £250,000, the court heard.

Mark, 32, told the jury he knew his mother had hidden the truth when he saw the image of the couple in Panama, taken four years after Mr Darwin apparently vanished in his canoe off the coast of Hartlepool.