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Pub Landlord Found Dead After Theft

A pub landlord who vanished after £30,000 disappeared from a Christmas thrift fund has been found dead.

Police have confirmed that a body found in the sea near Dover is the body of Malcolm Levesconte, a pub landlord from Shrewton.

Mr Levesconte, aged 59, landlord of the Royal Oak Pub, was last seen at the pub on Sunday, December 9.

Detectives were able to confirm that Mr Levesconte booked a return ferry ticket to St Malo in France that same evening and boarded a ferry at Portsmouth.

Police also discovered that £30,000 had gone missing from a Christmas fund at the pub and Mr Levesconte had had mounting debts.

Officers feared Mr Levesconte may have jumped off the ferry as they were not able to confirm that he had left the ferry in St Malo.

On Christmas Eve, Kent Police informed Wiltshire detectives that a body had been found in the sea near to Dover.

Tests have confirmed that this body was that of Mr. Levesconte. His next of kin have been informed.

The death is being treated as non-suspicious. A file will now be prepared by Wiltshire police on behalf of the coroner.

Following the theft, 60 families were left facing a bleak Christmas but saw the festive season saved after people donated money to replace the stolen funds.

It took just four days to replace the missing £29,000 thanks to one anonymous donation of £10,000 and hundreds of smaller contributions from as far afield as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Australia and the United States.

Local families had been contributing to the fund since last January and the village has a strong tradition of saving through local pubs and groups.

The family of Mr Levesconte continue to request that the media respect their privacy.