North Yorkshire shopkeeper appealing conviction

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A shopkeeper who was jailed for life for bludgeoning his postmistress wife to death is appealing against his conviction, his sister has said.

Robin Garbutt, now 46, was found guilty of murder in April.

A judge at Teesside Crown Court said he should serve a minimum of 20 years before he is considered for release.

A jury heard how he battered his wife Diana, 40, to death in their bedroom before opening their post office and shop in the picture-postcard North Yorkshire village of Melsonby as normal.

The jury rejected his story that a raider with a gun told him “don’t do anything stupid, we’ve got your wife” before robbing him as he worked.

Mr Justice Openshaw, sentencing, said Garbutt’s version of events was a “ludicrous story from beginning to end”.

Today, Mr Garbutt’s sister Sallie Wood issued a statement she said was on behalf of his family.

She said the appeal papers had now been lodged.

Ms Wood described the case as a “terrible miscarriage of justice”.

She said: “My family has been devastated by the events of the last 18 months but have been strengthened by Robin’s unwavering bravery - firstly in the face of the unbelievable allegations and then on being convicted of a crime he didn’t commit.

“Robin is the most genuine, kind, gentle and honest person you could ever wish to meet.”

Ms Wood said her brother is currently in the maximum security Frankland Prison, in County Durham.

She said: “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, although the damage to my brother will never be repaired.

“I will fight to prove Robin’s innocence until my dying day - I know he did not kill Di and will stop at nothing to bring an end to this travesty of justice.”

Mark Cashin

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