- 13 updates
People in the village of Shrewton in Wiltshire who lost Christmas savings of £29,000 are due to receive replacement funds later.
Residents had been saving in a thrift club at local pub the Royal Oak. Police are still searching for landlord Malcolm Levesconte, seen below, who's been missing since early December. They believe he may have taken his own life.
VIDEO: A fund set up to reimburse villagers whose Christmas savings went missing has almost reached its target tonight - but the news has been tinged with sadness. Andrew Pate reports
Police investigating the disappearance of Malcolm Levesconte are considering that he may have jumped off the ferry on the way to France.
Malcolm Levesconte, aged 59, landlord of the Royal Oak Pub, was last seen at the pub on Sunday December 9th.
Detectives have confirmed he booked a return ferry ticket to St Malo in France that same evening and boarded a ferry at Portsmouth.
Since then police have been working with the relevant agencies in France to try to trace him but have not been able to confirm he actually came off the ferry in St Malo.
Due to evidence that has come to light during their enquiries they have become increasingly concerned for Mr Levesconte’s safety and are now considering the possibility that he jumped off the ferry.
Det Sgt Standing, Salisbury CID said: “We continue to treat Malcolm Levesconte’s disappearance as a missing person enquiry but at this stage we do have to accept there is a possibility that he did not make it to France and may have taken his own life by jumping into the sea from the ferry.
“I would like to appeal to anyone who has information to come and speak to us – his family are facing the terrible prospect that he may have committed suicide. It is therefore imperative that we hear from you if you have heard from Mr Levesconte.”
In addition, Wiltshire Police are writing to the 61 people believed to have contributed to the Royal Oak pub’s Christmas thrift club in Shrewton which went missing at the same time as Mr Levesconte’s disappearance.
Officers launched an investigation after they were informed of the theft of a substantial amount of money by a member of the public. Enquiries have established that the £29,000 Christmas thrift fund collected by the landlord of the Royal Oak has disappeared.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Mr Levesconte is asked to contact Salisbury CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 where information can be left anonymously.
Police investigating the disappearance of Malcolm Levesconte are considering that he may have jumped off a ferry on the way to France.
Malcolm Levesconte, aged 59, landlord of the Royal Oak Pub, was last seen at the pub on Sunday, December 9th.
The people of Shrewton say they are "turning their luck around" one week after the landlord of the Royal Oak pub in the village on the Salisbury Plain disappeared.
60 families have lost their Christmas thrift club savings, which were being handled by Malcolm Levisconte.
Some families have lost as much as £2,500.
“This dreadful event made national headlines,” said Carole Slater, chairman of Shrewton Parish Council. “But the response from around the world has been truly heart-warming.
"A bad news story has become a magnificent celebration of the warmth and generosity of strangers. Shrewton is saving Christmas.”
Villagers have pulled together. Working through www.Shrewton.com, their Shrewton Saves Christmas campaign has already raised £13,250 to help replace the £29,000 that police say has been stolen.
With more events planned up to Christmas Eve, the total is expected to rise significantly.
“This is already far more than anyone expected,” said Pete Elston, who is organising the online donation, overseen by Shrewton Charitable Trust.
“We will carry on right up to Christmas Eve because this is the only way Shrewton can save Christmas for our neighbours.”
A car wash was held on Saturday, followed by Church services on Sunday. On Thursday Shrewton Silver Band will give a concert.
On Friday “Shrewton Shines” will be a special event at Rollestone Manor. And on Saturday Salisbury Football Club will collect cash at their home match against Truro City.
“Shrewton is back on the map for the right reasons,” said Ian West, who represents Till Valley on Wiltshire Council.
“This is a community looking after its own in a truly humbling way way.
"TV news crews, radio and newspaper reporters are all here telling the world how such a terrible event has brought people together – a real Christmas spirit that is making millions of people smile.”
Donations can be made here. Follow on Facebook and Twitter - #Shrewton.
Levisconte is still being sought by police for questioning.
Villagers and donors are half way to reaching their target to replace £29,000 taken from a Wiltshire pub savings scheme. The landlord of The Royal Oak in Shrewton, Malcolm Levesconte, hasn't been seen since boarding a ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo last weekend.
Around 60 people joined the thrift club. But the community have pulled together and have collected £14,500 in just 48 hours through online donations and collections. Villager Emily Westlake said: "It's been wonderful. We really hope we'll reach £29,000 in the next few days." To donate click here.
They say Christmas is the season of goodwill and that's definitely the case in one village in Wiltshire. The community has clubbed together to raise money for their neighbours left out of pocket after their Christmas savings fund totalling almost 30 thousand pounds went missing.
60 people are thought to have contributed to the thrift club which was being looked after by pub landlord Malcolm Levesconte at Shrewton, on Salisbury Plain. He hasn't been seen since boarding a cross-channel ferry at Portsmouth, bound for San Malo, last weekend.
An appeal set up just yesterday to help victims has raised a staggering £9,000 already.
WIth just days to go before Christmas, villagers in Wiltshire were dismayed to find that £29,000 they'd been saving in a thrift club at a local pub had gone missing. But thanks to an online campaign, Christmas isn't cancelled yet. Martin Dowse is in Shrewton for us.
They say Christmas is the season of goodwill and that's definitely the case in one village in Wiltshire. The community has clubbed together to raise money for their neighbours left out of pocket after their Christmas savings fund totalling almost £30,000 went missing.
60 people are thought to have contributed to the thrift club which was being looked after by pub landlord Malcolm Levesconte at Shrewton, on Salisbury Plain. He hasn't been seen since boarding a cross-channel ferry at Portsmouth, bound for St Malo, last weekend.
An appeal set up just yesterday to help victims has raised more than £6,000 already. All the details on that are here.
A fund set up to help villagers whose Christmas savings club money has been stolen has raised £6,000 since 5pm last night.
Wiltshire Police have confirmed that £29,000 was taken from the thrift club run by the landlord of The Royal Oak pub in Shrewton.
The village's community website is raising money to assist those affected by the theft..