THE husband of a North Yorkshire postmistress will appear in court today charged with her murder.

Robin Garbutt, 44, is accused of killing Diana Garbutt, 40, at their village post office in Melsonby, near Richmond, last month.

Police said he would appear before Northallerton Magistrates this morning. Mr Garbutt lived and worked in York until moving to the post office with his wife about seven years ago. His father lives in Clifton, York.

Last night his wife said he felt “shock, horror and disbelief” at the news that his son had been charged. Mrs Garbutt, who grew up in Eggborough and attended Brayton High School and Selby College, was found dead in the upstairs living quarters of the post office on March 23.

Her husband told police he had found her dead with severe head injuries after being confronted by an armed robber. He said the masked man was brandishing a gun as he told him:

“We’ve got your wife.” Detective Superintendent Lewis Raw, who has been leading the inquiry, said then that officers were investigating a possible link with a reported robbery at the store almost exactly a year before, which also took place on a Tuesday at about 8.30am and which also saw Mr Garbutt threatened by a man armed with a replica gun. DS Raw said the death of Mrs Garbutt had left her husband distraught, and residents very shocked and saddened. Earlier this month, Mr Garbutt told of the devastation caused by his wife’s death, saying in a statement released by police: “Di was my life and I am lost without her.” He said the week after the murder had been extremely difficult and traumatic for him, and he wanted to express his gratitude for the support of his family, friends and the police. Diana’s mother, Agnes Gaylor, 60, who runs the Boot And Shoe pub at Gowdall, near Selby, said the past few years in Melsonby had been the happiest of Diana’s life.

Mrs Gaylor said: “She was content, she loved her life. She didn’t deserve to be taken like this. Nobody does. But she, of all people, did not deserve to be taken this way.” Villagers in Melsonby said last month the couple were devoted to each other and their business, and dozens of bouquets of flowers were laid at the scene.