THE canoe conman who faked his own death in an insurance scam is now selling underwear in the Philippines.
John Darwin, 65, is living in the capital Manilla and working at a market stall with his new wife, Mercy.
The pensioner, originally from Seaton Carew, Hartlepool, pretended to die at sea 14 years ago in a canoeing accident to claim a £700,000 insurance payout.
He served a jail term but is now living 6,750 miles from his former home in a crammed £40-a-week room.
It is not known whether his new wife, who is 23 years his junior, knows of his criminal past.
His landlady, 67-year-old Daisy Lavapiez, said he was living on his UK pension in a squalid flat.
She added: “He is nearly always upstairs in his room because of the air quality here, unless he is helping Mercy at the market. It is the dust and dirt – he is allergic to it.”
Ms Lavapiez said: “He likes the Philippines and does not want to go back to England.”
After Darwin faked his death, he hid in secret passageways in the family home while ex-wife Anne, 64, lied to both their sons Anthony, 37, and Mark, 40, about their father’s disappearance.
The couple kept up the charade for more than five years before both were convicted of fraud in July 2008.
Darwin was ordered to serve six years and three months in prison while his wife got six years and six months. He was released in 2011 after serving half of his sentence.