An inquest heard today that a landlord from Wiltshire took his own life after facing finanical problems.
Malcolm Levesconte went missing at the same time as a £29,000 Christmas savings fund disappeared. His body was later found off the Kent coast.
Andrew Pate has been at the inquest:
A pub landlord fell to his death from a cross-Channel ferry after disappearing with almost £30,000 pounds of his patrons' Christmas savings
Malcolm Levesconte , aged 59 years, disappeared with the thrift fund from The Royal Oak pub in Shrewton in Wiltshire.
His body was found in the English Channel on Christmas Eve.
The Salisbury inquest heard Mr Levesconte had got into debt with credit cards and rent payments.
He texted his partner from the ferry telling her where to find his suicide notes and will.
The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide.
The inquest is due to open into the death of a Wiltshire pub landlord who disappeared after a £29,000 savings fund went missing.
The body of Malcolm Levesconte from Shrewton was found in the sea near Dover on Christmas Eve. He was last seen boarding a ferry for France.
It's thought he had been using the money to stay in business.
The body of Shrewton pub landlord Malcolm Levesconte has been washed up in Kent.
He disappeared earlier this month along with the £29,000 Christmas savings fund from the Royal Oak pub. He boarded a ferry to France but didn't arrive in St Malo.
Formal identification of his body happened today.
He vanished along with his pub's £29k Christmas savings fund. He was last seen boarding ferry to France but didn't get off in St Malo.
People in the village of Shrewton in Wiltshire who lost Christmas savings of £29,000 are due to receive replacement funds later today.
Residents had been saving in a thrift club at a local pub the Royal Oak. Police are still searching for its landlord Malcolm Levesconte who's been missing since early December. They believe he may have taken his own life.
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.