Family of dead baby at centre of John Darwin fake canoe death fraud demand apology

Alf Jones, brother of the 'stolen baby identity' in the John Darwin case,

Alf Jones, brother of the 'stolen baby identity' in the John Darwin case,

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The brother of a dead baby whose identity was stolen by canoe death fraudster John Darwin has spoken of his anger that his family is still awaiting an apology.

Hartlepool man Darwin faked his own death in a canoeing accident in 2002, in order to claim on his life insurance to pay off large debts.

Anne and John Darwin.

Anne and John Darwin.

He later assumed the identity of John Jones to obtain a passport.

The infant had died just a few weeks after his birth in Sunderland, in March 1950.

On July 23, 2008 Darwin and his former wife Anne were each sentenced to over six years imprisonment.

Anne Darwin is currently promoting a book - called Out of my Depth - and has been giving a number of high-profile TV interviews.

It just seems like John didn’t exist to them, that it was just a fictitious name. It wasn’t. He was a child – with a mother and father, brothers and sisters

Alf Jones

She has made no mention of what her husband’s actions did to John’s family, including his remaining seven siblings out of eight who are still alive

John’s brother Alf Jones, 59, who lives in Pallion, Sunderland, said: “We’ve never had an apology. It’s frustrating. At the end of the day, when they took the identity of the child, they didn’t think about the consequences to the child’s parents.

“I don’t think they took that into account at all.

“I have asked to speak to Darwin on numerous occasions. The police were trying to arrange to speak to him, but Darwin flatly refused to speak to us.

Out of my Depth by Anne Darwin.

Out of my Depth by Anne Darwin.

“Did he not think about the baby’s mother and father and how this would affect them?

“There were questions I wanted to ask him. He’s had ample opportunity to apologise, but he never did.

“Now Anne Darwin is promoting her book.

“She’s also had ample opportunity, since day one, to apologise for what they did to us.

John Darwin

John Darwin

“She seems to be apologising to her sons for deceiving them about their father’s death. She made it out to be all about the money and her boys, but we were dragged into this.

“It just seems like John didn’t exist to them, that it was just a fictitious name.

He wasn’t. He was a child – with a mother and father, brothers and sisters.”

Crane supervisor Alf, who is married to Susan, 56, is now campaigning for children’s birth certificates to be better protected from fraud and has met with his MP Julie Elliott.

“I’m also angry with the Government for allowing a child’s birth record to be accessed so easily,” he added.

In her book, Anne Darwin tells how she made her weeping children believe their father John had died in a canoe accident as part of a six-figure fraud.

The dad faked his own death in 2002 so he and wife Anne could benefit from a portfolio of life insurance policies worth more than £680,000.

He then reappeared, claiming to suffer from amnesia, but police investigations revealed the truth - and the couple were both convicted and jailed in 2008.

Now Anne Darwin has spoken of her regrets at the heartbreak the crime caused their children.

“As the world now knows, my husband and I had inflicted the cruellest possible deception on those we loved by pretending he had drowned so we could claim the insurance money to pay off our debts,” she said.

“God knows what the boys would have thought of me had they known that their dad was alive and well inside the family home just a few yards behind us — possibly even watching from a window, for all I knew. I live with the shame of it every moment of my life.”

She added: “How could any mother sink so low? It is a question I ask myself daily.”

Anne Darwin, now 64, made the remarks in an article she has written for the Daily Mail, ahead of the release of her book, written with David Leigh.

Anne said her husband had decided on his drastic course of action after getting into severe debt.