A SUB-POSTMASTER from North Yorkshire convicted of killing his wife has hired a high-profile legal team in an attempt to secure his release.

Jim Sturman QC and Martin Rackstraw have been instructed by Robin Garbutt, who was found guilty of murdering his wife Diana at the couple’s village shop and post office in Melsonby, near Richmond, in 2010.

The recruitment of the two lawyers comes as supporters reveal Garbutt could soon lose the property which the couple bought together in 2004 and which has remained empty since the murder.

Barrister Mr Sturman has represented footballers including Joey Barton and John Terry.

He also acted for Colin Stagg, who was wrongly accused of the murder of Rachel Nickel on Wimbledon Common, and Leyburn jockey Darren Williams, who was acquitted of race fixing at a high-profile trial at the Old Bailey. Mr Rackstraw, a solicitor who specialises in historic miscarriage of justice cases, is also working on 48-year-old Garbutt’s case.

He represented Wendy Markcrow, who killed her Down’s syndrome son in tragic circumstances, and Christopher Galley, a Home Office civil servant who leaked sensitive information to the Conservative MP Damian Green.

Mark Stilborn, Garbutt’s brother-in-law, said on a website set up by supporters of the sub-postmaster: “As usual he (Garbutt) is working tirelessly on his case for the new solicitors and QC, bringing them up to speed with, and pointing out all the shortcomings of, different aspects of the case.

“It is all taking time as there are so many points to address and move forward with. We believe fully, as does Robin, in these two men and what they are capable of. The professionalism of these men is second to none. “ Mr Stilborn said the prisoner’s family had recently sorted through the Garbutts’ possessions at the village post office.

“This was a task everybody was dreading and hoping would never come, but due to the failings of the judicial system Robin is still locked up and ever nearer losing his home,” he added.

Mrs Garbutt, 40, was found dead in the living quarters of the village shop and post office. Police and paramedics initially responded to reports of an armed robbery, however Mrs Garbutt's husband was arrested on suspicion of murder three weeks later.

Garbutt lost an appeal against his conviction after being jailed for life and was told he must serve at least 20 years.