THE jury in the trial of a North Yorkshire shopkeeper accused of murdering his wife will return on Tuesday for a third day of deliberations.

Robin Garbutt, 45, formerly of York and Huby, denies hitting 40-year-old Diana three times on the head as she slept in the living quarters above The Village Shop and Post Office in Melsonby.

Diana, formerly of Eggborough and Selby, was found dead in bed on March 23 last year. Jurors were sent out on Thursday to consider their verdict, following a four-week trial, and continued their deliberations all day yesterday.

Garbutt says a robber burst in as he worked in the shop and told him “Don’t do anything stupid, we’ve got your wife.”

He claims he was forced to hand over thousands of pounds before the raider fled, then he went upstairs and found Mrs Garbutt motionless on the bed.

The prosecution alleges that he killed his unfaithful wife then made up the robbery to cover his tracks. It claims the marriage, which seemed happy to outsiders, was doomed.

Teesside Crown Court heard the couple had £30,000 in credit card debts, yet still went on extravagant weekend breaks, and the prosecution alleges Garbutt was stealing cash from the post office and was about to be found out.