An inquest has been opened and adjourned into the death of a pub landlord after he vanished following the theft of almost £30,000 from a Christmas collection.
The body of 59-year-old Malcolm Levesconte was found in the sea off Dover, on Christmas Eve.
Mr Levesconte, landlord of the Royal Oak in Shrewton, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, was last seen on December 9 boarding a ferry for France after the theft from the Christmas savings club at his pub.
Wiltshire Police have said they have been working on the theory that he had been propping up his failing pub business with money from the fund.
The death is being treated as non-suspicious.
The inquest in Folkestone heard that Mr Levesconte had to be identified by fingerprints.
A post-mortem examination at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford confirmed his cause of death was drowning.
Rachel Redman, the coroner for central and south east Kent, directed that jurisdiction for a full inquest into his death be passed to a Wiltshire coroner.
Detectives had previously said they were considering the possibility that Mr Levesconte jumped off the ferry after it left Portsmouth.
He had booked a return ticket to St Malo and had boarded the ferry. But detectives said he did not get off when it arrived in France.
An inquest into the death of a Wiltshire pub landlord whose body was found in the sea off Kent has been opened and adjourned. Malcolm Levesconte, 59, disappeared after the theft of around £29,000 from a Christmas savings club at the Royal Oak pub in Shrewton near Salisbury where he was the landlord.
Mr Levesconte was last seen on 9th December 2012 boarding a ferry - he had purchased a return ticket for Saint Malo in France.
Wiltshire Police have said that they were working on the theory that he may have been propping up his failing pub business with money from the fund. Mr Levesconte's death is not being treated as suspicious.
The inquest in Folkestone heard that the pub landlord had had to be identified using fingerprints. A post mortem examination at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford found that the cause of his death was drowning.
The coroner or central and south east Kent, Rachel Redman, directed that jurisdiction for a full inquest into Mr Levesconte's death be passed to a Wiltshire coroner.
Wiltshire Police have launched an appeal for information about the theft of around £20,000 - £25,000 from a Christmas savings club organised by the landlord of the Royal Oak Pub in Shrewton near Salisbury.
Officers are also trying to trace Malcolm Levesconte aged 59, the pub landlord, who was last seen at the pub on Sunday 9th December. Detectives have said that Mr Levesconte booked tickets and boarded a ferry that evening from Portsmouth heading for St Malo in France.
The inquiry is being dealt with as a criminal investigation and as a missing person inquiry. Anyone with information can contact Salisbury CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Anybody concerned about money they have paid in to the Christmas club should contact the Royal Oak pub itself, where their details will be recorded and passed to the police.