Back-from-the-dead canoeist Darwin’s apology to Sunderland family

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BACK-FROM-THE-DEAD canoeist John Darwin has apologised to the relatives of a dead child whose identity he stole.

 The 61-year-old fraudster faked his own death so his wife Anne could claim hundreds of thousands of pounds in insurance policies after the couple sank into financial difficulties.

 To help him make his escape to Panama where he started his new life, Darwin, of Hartlepool, applied for a passport using the name of John Jones, a baby boy born in Sunderland five months before him in 1950, but who died at just 34 days old.

 He is buried at Grangetown cemetery.

 Darwin today said: “When I required a passport I knew I would have to have certain documents, and one was a birth certificate.

 “I picked out of the records one that was born more or less the same time as me. It could have been anyone.

 “I am sorry for my crime and for any harm or hurt it has caused anyone else. There was no malice intended.”