A VILLAGE post office which was the scene of brutal murder has been bought by the victim's mother to complete home improvements begun by her daughter.

Agnes Gaylor told the sellers she was buying the Village Shop and Post Office in Melsonby, near Richmond, North Yorkshire, to finish work on the kitchen started by daughter Diana Garbutt before her death.

The sale of the property, which has stood empty since the 2010 murder, has prompted fresh hope among villagers that the business will one day reopen.

Melsonby Parish Council is attempting to contact Ms Gaylor to find out what her intentions are for the premises.

Mrs Garbutt, 40, was found beaten to death in an upstairs bedroom.

Her husband Robin was later convicted of her murder, sentenced to life in prison and ordered to serve at least 20 years.

Mrs Gaylor bought the end terrace property at auction in July for the guide price of £130,000.

The sale was handled on behalf of Robin Garbutt by his family.

Brother-in-law Mark Stilborn said: "She (Ms Gaylor) said she felt she had to do it because she had to finish the kitchen for Diana.

"I don't know what she wants to do with the property then."

During Garbutt's trial in 2011, it emerged that Mrs Garbutt had chatted to a friend the day before her death about the progress of a kitchen the couple were having fitted.

Bill Nixon, who runs Nixon's Garage, across the road from the post office, said there was surprise in the village that Mrs Garbutt's mother had bought the property where her daughter had died.

However, he added: "The feelings of the majority of people in Melsonby are that we want our post office and shop back."

Mr Nixon, a parish councillor, added that the fate of the premises has been discussed at a recent parish council meeting.

The authority was hoping to contact Ms Gaylor to discover what she intended to do with the property.

Ms Garbutt, 40, was found dead in the living quarters of the building on March 23, 2010.

Police and paramedics initially responded to reports of an armed robbery.

In the days after the alleged raid, detectives appealed for help to catch a man wearing a balaclava and armed with a gun.

However, Garbutt was arrested on suspicion of murder three weeks later.

Mr Stilborn said the family continued to protest Garbutt's innocence and were preparing a file to be passed to the Criminal Cases Review Commission in a bid to challenge the conviction.

Mrs Gaylor was unavailable for comment yesterday.