THE husband of a North Yorkshire postmistress has appeared in court charged with her murder.

Robin Garbutt showed no emotion at Northallerton Magistrates Court as the clerk read out the allegation that he killed Diana Garbutt at Melsonby Post Office near Richmond, where they both lived, on March 23.

He lived and worked in York until moving to the post office with his wife seven years ago. She was brought up and educated in Eggborough, Brayton and Selby.

Robin Garbutt, 44, was flanked by two security officers during the two-minute hearing and spoke only to answer his name and give his age and address. He sat impassive throughout the hearing, dressed in a dark blue t-shirt with turquoise strips and a black pair of jeans. After Caroline May, for North Yorkshire Crown Prosecution Service, told the two magistrates sitting that the charge could only be tried by a judge and jury, they sent Garbutt to Teesside Crown Court where he will appear before a crown court judge on Tuesday.

That will be his first chance to enter a plea. As magistrates no longer have the power to grant bail in murder cases, his solicitor Peter Furness of Darlington, did not object when he was remanded in custody. He will be able to apply for bail on Tuesday.

Members of Mrs Garbutt’s family and well-wishers were in court.

They saw the security officers escort Robin Garbutt away to prison where he will remain until Tuesday’s hearing.

Mrs Garbutt’s body was found in an upstairs room at the couple’s home above Melsonby Post Office on March 23.