Back from dead canoeist 'researched new identity in Morpeth'

BACK from the dead canoeist John Darwin spent a week in Morpeth plotting his new identity while on the run from police.

In memoirs published in The Sun, Darwin, who faked his own death in 2002, escaped to the town within an hour of suspicious Police raiding his home in Seaton Carew.

And it was his time in Morpeth where he researched the identity of a dead baby boy to help him start a brand new life in Panama.

Darwin said that when he heard Police were going to visit his wife at their home not long after his apparent death, he made the decision to flee to Northumberland where he used to go to research his family history.

His memoirs in The Sun said: "I booked a spot in the office that housed the genealogy department at Morpeth Council and proceeded to look up death in 1950.

"I had already chosen Jones as a surname so I looked at these.

"One had died before he was six months.

"This was the one I chose."

He spent a week in the town before his wife Anne contacted him to tell him he could return home.

The plan for him and Anne to lead a new life in Central America worked, and they pocketed thousands of pounds from a life insurance scheme.

But in 2007 Darwin walked into a police station in the UK claiming he had amnesia, and it was then his real identity was unveiled.

Darwin is currently serving six years and three months in prison after admitting fraud, and his wife is serving six and a half years for fraud and money laundering.

He smuggled the memoirs out of prison through a former inmate who posed as his lawyer.