North Yorkshire Post Office Murderer To Appeal

A North Yorkshire shopkeeper found guilty of bludgeoning his postmistress wife to death is appealing his murder conviction today.

Robin Garbutt, 46, was jailed for life in April last year and ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years behind bars before he can apply for parole.

A jury at Teesside Crown Court heard that he battered his 40-year-old wife Diana to death in their bedroom before opening their post office and shop in the picture-postcard North Yorkshire village of Melsonby as normal.

His case was that a raider with a gun told him ``don't do anything stupid, we've got your wife'' before robbing him as he worked, and that moments later he discovered his wife's body in bed in their living quarters.

When sentencing Garbutt, the trial judge, Mr Justice Openshaw, said his version of events was a ``ludicrous story from beginning to end''.

His sister, Sallie Wood, of North Yorkshire, said in a statement: ``We hope this appeal will result in the overturning of this terrible miscarriage of justice.

``If there is any justice in the world Robin's conviction will be quashed and he will walk free.

``My family has been devastated by the events of the last two years but we have all drawn strength from Robin, who despite being convicted of a crime he didn't commit, has fought - and will continue to fight - to clear his name.

``Somewhere out there is the person - or persons - that murdered Di and who is to say they wont do it again. We hope that whoever they are they will eventually be caught and brought to justice.''