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Did landlord use Christmas cash for ailing pub?

Malcolm Levesconte Credit: Wiltshire Police

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.

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Inquest opens into Shrewton landlord's death

Malcolm Levesconte was last seen alive on 9th December 2012

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.

Supporters raise £6,000 for Christmas club theft victims

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..

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