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Murder accused 'wept without tears'

A shopkeeper accused of bludgeoning his postmistress wife to death and then pretending an armed robber had attacked her sobbed without tears as he described what had happened to one of the first police officers at the scene, a court has been told.

Robin Garbutt, 45, murdered his unfaithful wife, Diana, and then claimed a raider with a handgun had struck at The Village Shop and Post Office in Melsonby, North Yorkshire, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Garbutt denies murdering 40-year-old Mrs Garbutt on March 23 last year.

Pc Mark Reed, the second officer at the scene after the shopkeeper dialled 999, told the jury he tried to get information from Garbutt so he could circulate a description of the robber. Pc Reed, based in Richmond, North Yorkshire, said: "He would sob occasionally. There didn't seem to be any tears."

Pc Reed said Garbutt's account of the events that morning "jumped around", but he said he was working in the store when a masked 6ft intruder with a gun came in after 8.30am.

He added: "This male told him to turn the lights off, lock the door and don't do anything stupid as they had his wife."

The defendant said he then went upstairs to the living quarters where he found his wife had been attacked. The first policeman to arrive was traffic officer Christopher Marlow, who gave the ambulance crew the all-clear to enter the premises.

He said a paramedic reported that rigor mortis had set in on Mrs Garbutt.

The officer told the trial: "Mr Garbutt said words to the effect of 'How can that be? She's still warm'."

Two part-time employees at the shop gave evidence to say the couple seemed happy. One of them, Linda Ling, told the court: "I always thought he thought the world of her."


From Belfast Telegraph