York & North Yorkshire

Postmistress murder trial: wife 'trusted' accused husband

Diana and Robin Garbutt
Image caption Diana Garbutt had told her husband about an "intimate encounter", the jury has been told

A postmistress allegedly murdered by her husband thought he was a "top guy", his mother has told a court.

Robin Garbutt, 45, was "the only man" his 40-year-old wife Diana "had ever trusted", Teesside Crown Court heard.

The prosecution claims he bludgeoned his unfaithful wife as she slept in their living quarters at the post office in Melsonby, North Yorkshire.

He denies murder, saying an armed robber made him hand over cash and when he went upstairs he found his wife.

The prosecution claims Mr Garbutt was stealing money from the post office to prop up the "ailing" business, and used cash from the safe to fund lavish weekends away.

Good talker

Mr Garbutt's mother, Joyce Brook, said her daughter-in-law shared her feelings with her.

"She [Diana] said the good thing about being with Robin was they could always talk," she told the court.

"He was the one man, the only man, that she had ever trusted."

The defendant's mother denied Robin and Diana's marriage was a "sham".

"Di's description of Robin, she used it often and certainly in the last two weeks [of her life], was that he was a top guy," she said.

'Gentle, kind person'

Another witness, Dena Dalton, a teacher who lived in Melsonby, told the court that Mr Garbutt would be an ideal role model for her eight-year-old son Thomas.

The mother-of-three, who set up a book club with Mrs Garbutt, said: "I stand here and say I haven't met a more honest, more gentle, kinder person, than Robin.

"He would be an ideal role model for my son."

Mrs Dalton added: "Di was one of the most loyal, reliable people that I can remember.

"She was a pleasure to be around."

She said the couple seemed to have a loving and close relationship.

"They had what appeared to be a very close bond and a close friendship."

The trial continues.

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