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‘He’ll have good life insurance’: Canoe fraudster John Darwin’s wife says he’s to fight Russians

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Canoe man John Darwin is reportedly signing up to help fight the Russian invasion in a bizarre turn of events.

The North East fraudster is ‘on his way’ to fight in Ukraine according to his second wife, The Mirror Reports.

The announcement precedes the arrival of a new drama set to tell how Darwin faked his death in a canoeing accident in 2002.

READ MORE: John Darwin’s his sneaked onto set of new ITV show about canoe couple

In a bizarre series of messages, his second wife Mercy Mae Avila Darwin, 48, claimed Darwin would fight the Russians in Ukraine.

When asked about the danger of joining the war, she said: “Yes, dangerous for the Russian when he shoot them (sic).

“He will have a bullet proof vest and good life insurance, good for me.”

Mum-of-three Mercy has lived in the Philippines with Darwin since meeting online. They wed in 2015.

The ex-prison officer, 71, famously faked his own death off the North Sea coast in 2002 to trigger a huge insurance scam.

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With the help of first wife Anne, he pretended to be ‘dead’ for five years – moving to Panama after living in a room hidden behind a wardrobe at the family home in Seaton Carew, in Hartlepool – before he walked into a London police station in 2007.

Both he and Anne were jailed for more than six years for fraud in 2008. He broke the terms of his parole in 2013 to see a young Ukrainian woman on a date. He met Anna Avramenko, then 25, through a foreign brides website for women seeking a rich husband.

He told her that hundreds of women wanted to meet him, and that he received 240 messages from admirers in one day. But she never wanted to see him again after their first date.

The astonishing story about the canoe scam will be told in a four-part primetime ITV dramatization called The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe starring Eddie Marsan and Monica Dolan as the Darwins.



Monica Dolan as Anne Darwin, Eddie Marsan as John Darwin in The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe
Monica Dolan as Anne Darwin, Eddie Marsan as John Darwin in The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe

It was inspired by a book by former Mirror journalist David Leigh, who tracked down Anne in Panama.

Anne and John Darwin separated while both still serving time for the fraud. They divorced after 38 years of marriage.

While former doctor’s receptionist Anne, 69, has rebuilt her relationship with Mark and Anthony, the two sons she so cruelly deceived about his faked death at sea, John has been disowned by one of his boys.

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