Norfolk

Norfolk stamp collector repays debt over church thefts

A church treasurer ordered to sell his stamp collection to repay £70,000 he stole from two churches in Norfolk has settled his debts, almost six years on.

Derek Klein, 58, of Ridlington, near North Walsham, was jailed for 16 months at Norwich Crown Court in 2007.

Judge Peter Jacobs had told him at a series of confiscation hearings to sell off more stamps to fully compensate Ridlington and Bacton church councils.

The court confirmed Klein had cleared the final £6,990 on Friday.

Klein embezzled the money over two decades to fund a gambling debt, the court heard.

Judge Jacobs approved the stamp sale after Klein had served half his sentence and said the collector could keep any proceeds after repaying the churches.

But in February 2009, Klein was accused of "not delivering" on the repayments, having handed over £25,000 since his conviction.

His collection was thought to contain tens of thousands of first-day covers, including stamps marking England's 1966 World Cup win, the Silver Jubilee of George V and the silver wedding of George VI.

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