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Canoe fraudsters now have 'no known assets'

Back-from-the-dead canoeist John Darwin and his ex-wife Anne now have no known assets after his £40,000 pension was seized, the Crown Prosecution Service said today.

John Darwin and his ex-wife Anne, who now have no known assets after his £40,000 pension was seized. Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The couple, who faked his death in the North Sea 13 years ago, allowing her to claim hundreds of thousands of pounds in life insurance payouts, have now repaid £541,762.39p.

While John hid in the martial home in Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool, Anne pretended to be a grieving widow, fooling even their two sons.

The couple then moved to Panama to start a new life.

But their story unravelled when John returned to the UK, claiming to have amnesia, in December 2007.

The Darwins were eventually prosecuted for fraud and were jailed in 2008.

The couple, who have since split, have been subject to Proceeds of Crime hearings.

She has repaid more than £500,000 while the £40,000 he paid in July last year from his pension meant he no longer had any assets.

Following his conviction, the court found that John, 64, had benefited by £679,194, but having pretended to be dead, all assets were in his wife's name.

The court therefore made an order for £1 allowing the CPS to amend the order should any assets, such as this pension, become available.

"The Darwins now have no known assets remaining for confiscation. When John Darwin devised his plan to defraud insurance companies, he didn't think he'd get caught at all. But he also didn't bank on the dedication and determination of my team to recover the money he stole - even seven years later. This case really shows that fraud doesn't pay. My thanks also go to police colleagues in the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team for their hard work."

– Nick Price, Crown Prosecution Service


Angela Wrightson murder trial: home a 'bomb site'

Angela Wrightson

The trial of two teenage girls accused of murdering a woman in her home in Hartlepool has heard the first paramedic to arrive on the scene said it was like a bomb site.

Teesside Crown Court has heard that thirty nine year old Angela Wrightson had suffered more than a 100 separate injuries.

The jury was also told there was evidence she had tried to defend herself and that she'd been restrained.

The girls, aged 14 and 15, both deny the charges.

Best of friends - a blind dog and his own guide dog

A home is being sought for an unlikely pair - a blind dog with his own guide dog. The pair were found abandoned in Hartlepool three weeks ago. They're now at a rescue centre in Coxhoe in County Durham, where offers to rehome them have come from all over the world.

Buzz (left) and Glenn, who is blind. Credit: ITV News

Buzz, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, acts as a guide dog for Glenn, a Jack Russell - who is permanently blind.

The inseperable pair were found abandoned in a sea tunnel in Hartlepool three weeks ago.

Staff at Stray Aid in Coxhoe, County Durham, think the dogs are aged around nine or ten and could have been together for years.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is Glenn's eyes - leading the way around the centre and on long walks.

The story of their unusual friendship has gone worldwide with offers to rehome them from as far afield as America and Vietnam.

And they've even had celebrity support.

Cheryl Fernandez Versini shared their photo on Instagram writing 'If anyone knows of a loving home who have the space and time to take them please help."

Staff at the rescue centre in Coxhoe say they want to find a home for them together where they can retire and be happy.


Football club's new owners revealed later

News of Hartlepool United's future will be announced later Credit: PA Images

Hartlepool United are expected to reveal more details about the club's new owners.

Its majority shareholder, IOR (Increased Oil Recovery) has announced that a takeover has been agreed.

A sale had been decided last December to TMH2014 Limited but it was revealed in February that the deal had fallen through.

Chairman Ken Hodcroft has stepped down and IOR, which bought the club in 1997, will relinquish control.

Hartlepool will start the new season with new owners at the helm after the team's dramatic escape from relegation.

Pools fans are hoping the changes will bring new investment.

'Disregard for humanity' at Hartlepool care home

Admiral Court, Hartlepool

The Care Quality Commission has issued a scathing report on a care home for elderly people in Hartlepool, rating it 'inadequate' in all areas, and with a disregard for residents' humanity.

This followed unannounced inspections of Admiral Court Care Home in April and May.

The CQC report said the home was unsafe and uncaring.

It also raised serious concerns about the way medication was administered, and that some residents appeared to sometimes go hungry or thirsty.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • A disregard for the humanity of residents
  • Poor nutrition and hydration
  • Staff failed to ensure residents received appropriate medical care
  • People using adapted wheelchairs were not able to have a bath or shower
  • Staff failed to protect people from avoidable harm
  • Staff had not been suitably trained

Admiral Court is owned by Four Winds Care, which has not been available for comment.

Danny Posthill on his BGT experience

Twelve million of us tuned in to ITV last night (May 31) to see the final of the 9th series of Britain's Got Talent.

Jules O'Dwyer and her dog Matisse took the top prize after their routine reduced judge David Walliams to tears.

But Hartlepool impressionist Danny Posthill flew the North East flag.

He had a whole host of new impressions for the final and ended up coming 7th out of the 12 acts.

If you missed it last night here he is, courtesy of Britain's Got Talent. Clip courtesy of Syco/Thames.

Danny also targeted the hosts, Ant and Dec. Clip courtesy of Syco/Thames.

Earlier, Danny spoke to Pam and Ian about his Britain's Got Talent experience.

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