Postmaster ’challenged paramedic’

A North Yorkshire shopkeeper accused of murdering his postmistress wife challenged a paramedic sent to treat her who told him rigor mortis had set in, a court has heard.

Robin Garbutt, 45, denies bludgeoning his wife Diana’s head three times as she slept in the living quarters above the Village Shop and Post Office in Melsonby, North Yorkshire, in March last year.

The prosecution at Teesside Crown Court claims Garbutt, who had £30,000 credit card debts, murdered his unfaithful wife in the early hours then pretended an armed robber killed her and fled with cash from the safe.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As Garbutt sat with his head in his hands in the dock, a transcript of his 999 call to the ambulance service was read to the jury.

When a paramedic arrived in the bedroom where Mrs Garbutt lay dead, her husband was heard to say: “She’s warm.”

The paramedic replied: “But if you look sir, that’s what we call rigor mortis.”

Garbutt replied: “It’s not rigor mortis.”

Garbutt told police he had opened the shop as normal before 5am and left his 40-year-old wife asleep in bed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

After serving numerous customers, he told detectives shortly after 8.30am a man with a handgun told him “don’t do anything stupid, we have got your wife”, the jury heard. He told officers he went straight up to see her after the robber fled with cash, and found her motionless and face down on the bed.

The trial, in its third week, was adjourned until Tuesday.