‘Canoe Man’ John Darwin ‘on his way’ to fight in Ukraine according to his wife



As as a new ITV drama based on the life of 71-year-old fraudster ‘Canoe Man’ John Darwin hits our screens, Mercy Mae Avila Darwin, 48, said his presence in Ukraine would be ‘dangerous for the Russian when he shoot them ‘

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Teaser trailer for ITV’s The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe

Here’s a development that will have Vladimir Putin quaking… Canoe Man John Darwin is off to fight in Ukraine against Russia.

According to the 71-year-old fraudster’s much younger second wife, he is “on his way” to take up arms and do battle with the dictator’s forces.

It comes as a new ITV drama based on his life and crimes about to hit our screens.

Mercy Mae Avila Darwin, 48, was asked about the dangers her husband, who faked his own death at sea in 2002, faces in Ukraine.

She replied: “Yes, dangerous for the Russian when he shoots them.

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

Good idea by Canoe Man? Have your say in the comment section

The Mirror’s world exclusive on the couple



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

Former prison officer Darwin triggered a huge insurance scam by pretending to have died in a canoe accident in the North Sea.

With the help of first wife Anne, he kept up the con for five years.

She moved to Panama with her after living in a room hidden behind a wardrobe at the family home in Seaton Carew, Co Durham.

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



The crook walked into a London police station in 2007, claiming he had suffered a bad dose of amnesia.

Darwin and Anne were jailed for more than six years for fraud in 2008.

He broke his parole terms in 2013 for a date with Ukrainian Anna Avramenko, 25.

The pair met through a foreign brides website for women seeking a rich husband.

Ukrainian Anna met conman for one date

Darwin and second wife Mercy Mae


Rowan Griffiths/Daily Mirror)

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

Darwin and Anne split while both in prison. They divorced after 38 years of marriage.

Former doctor’s receptionist Anne, 69, has rebuilt her relationship with Mark and Anthony, the two sons she so cruelly deceived about his death.

But Darwin has been disowned by one of his boys.

The astonishing story about the deception and the couple’s secret new life in Panama 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.

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

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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