Sun scores print-only scoop with canoe memoirs

The Sun today began serialising the memoirs of ‘canoe man’John Darwin after obtaining a draft copy of them from the jailed conman.

The story appears as a print-only exclusive in today’s Sun – continuing a strategy which has seen the News International red-top begin holding back premium content from the free online edition. Sun proprietor Rupert Murdoch has indicated that he will start charging for all his newspaper websites before the year is out.

Darwin is currently serving six years in prison for faking his own death in a canoeing accident so that his wife could collect his life insurance cash. Both were sent to jail in July 2008.

The Sun does not reveal how it obtained Darwin’s handwritten memoir. But it does say that it made no payment to Darwin himself.

Payments to criminals are banned under the Editors’ Code of Practice which says: “Payment or offers of payment for stories, pictures or information, which seek to exploit a particular crime or to glorify or glamorise crime in general, must not be made directly or via agents to convicted or confessed criminals or to their associates – who may include family, friends and colleagues.”

Today’s Sun reveals that Darwin struck a partnership in jail with conman Alan Caramanica who, upon release, set up a fake legal firm in order for Darwin to communicate with him confidentially by post.

The Sun reports that Darwin signed over the rights to his book for £10 to Caramanica in exchange for an agreement that they would share the profits.

The first excerpt of the memoir reveals how Darwin racked up debt by building a rental property empire. It also states that the Darwins had a ‘farewell sex romp’hours before he faked his own death.

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