Vehicles stopped as police renew appeal over postmistress murder

POLICE investigating the murder of a postmistress carried out stop checks yesterday on vehicles passing through the North Yorkshire village where the victim was killed exactly a week before.

Police conducted the early morning census of traffic travelling into and out of Melsonby, north of Richmond, as part of the ongoing inquiry into the murder of Diana Garbutt.

Mrs Garbutt, 40, was found dead in the post office's upstairs living quarters on Tuesday last week with severe head injuries.

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Her husband Robin, 44, told police that he found his wife's body after an armed raider confronted him in the store and escaped with a substantial amount of cash. A forensic examination of the property was continuing yesterday along with door-to-door inquiries in the village.

Insp Ian Thompson, of the Richmond Safer Neighbourhood Team, made a fresh appeal yesterday for people to come forward.

Speaking outside the post office, which remained cordoned off, he said: "I would like to reinforce the importance of providing North Yorkshire Police with information to enable us to bring Diana's killer to justice."

He added: "Diana's husband Robin and family are distraught and continue to receive support from North Yorkshire Police at this very difficult time.

"Working on behalf of Diana's husband, family and the community in which they lived, we are determined to bring Diana's killer to justice but we need the assistance of members of the public to help us to do this."

Insp Thompson reassured residents that North Yorkshire Police would continue to "have a presence" in the village in the coming days.

Mr Garbutt told police he was confronted by the masked raider, who was carrying a gun, at about 8.30am on Tuesday last week before the offender fled with a substantial amount of cash in a holdall.

Mr Garbutt then went upstairs, where he found his wife dead.