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Embezzler repays

26 April 2013

A CHURCH treasurer who embezzled £70,000 to fund his passion for stamp- collecting has repaid his debt by selling off his prized collection of first-day covers.

Derek Klein has taken almost six years to return the money that he stole from two rural Norfolk parishes. He made his final payment of £6990 earlier this month.

In 2007, at Norwich Crown Court, Mr Klein, of Ridlington, near North Walsham, Norfolk, was jailed for 16 months for taking £13,000 from St Peter's, Ridlington, and £57,000 from St Andrew's, Bacton, near by. Much of the money was used to enhance his collection, which included tens of thousands of first-day covers.

Judge Peter Jacobs agreed to a suggestion from Mr Klein that, instead of auctioning off his collection, as the prosecution had wanted, he should sell it on eBay. Mr Klein argued that while an auction would raise about £25,000, individual sales would be more profitable. He made his final payment on 12 April.

The Archdeacon of Norwich, the Ven. Jan McFarlane, said: "We are very pleased that it has all been repaid. It's a happy ending to a sad story."

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