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Murder accused 'lied about robbery'

A village shopkeeper bludgeoned his cheating wife to death then pretended their post office had been robbed, a court has been told.

Robin Garbutt was struggling with £30,000 credit card debts and had been taking money from Melsonby Post Office, North Yorkshire, when he snapped and killed his wife Diana, 40, as she slept, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The 45-year-old told police he was held-up at gunpoint by an intruder in the shop, at around 8.30am on March 23 last year, who forced him to open the safe. After the robber fled, he went upstairs and found her battered to death, he claimed.

Garbutt denies murder.

David Hatton QC, prosecuting, said: "The prosecution maintain the defendant murdered his wife.

"Only two people knew what their relationship was really like and one of them is dead.

"Behind the facade of a happy and financially comfortable couple there were problems and all was not as it might have appeared on the surface to the public eye. Diana Garbutt had been unfaithful."

She had told her husband she had sex with a man at a party in York in December 2008 while her husband slept upstairs, Mr Hatton said.

She kissed a cousin's husband at a family party and a note she wrote to him suggested a sexual relationship had happened, the court heard.

Mrs Garbutt used internet dating sites and had a flirtatious Facebook friendship with a local man with whom she went for late-night bike rides when her husband was asleep. She told the man her husband "wasn't into sex" and they were going to see a therapist, the court was told.

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