A VILLAGE shopkeeper accused of bludgeoning his wife to death shed no tears when he told police about her death, a court heard.

PC Mark Reed, the second officer at the scene, said Robin Garbutt, 45, “sobbed without tears” and said his story “jumped about”.

Garbutt, formerly of York and Huby, is accused of murdering his wife Diana, formerly of Eggborough, Selby and York, as she lay sleeping above their shop and post office in Melsonby, North Yorkshire. Prosecutors say he pretended she had been attacked by an armed robber. Garbutt denies the charge.

Giving evidence yesterday on the fourth day of Garbutt’s four-week trial, PC Reed told the jury at Teesside Crown Court that he tried to get information from Garbutt so he could circulate a description of the robber.

The officer said: “He would sob occasionally. There didn’t seem to be any tears.”

PC Reed said Garbutt’s account of the events that morning “jumped around”, but he said he was working in the store when a masked 6ft intruder with a gun came in after 8.30am.

PC Reed said: “This male told him to turn the lights off, lock the door and don’t do anything stupid as they had his wife.”

The defendant said he then went upstairs to the living quarters where he found his wife had been attacked.

The first policeman to arrive was traffic officer Christopher Marlow, who gave the ambulance crew the all-clear to enter the premises.

He said a paramedic reported that rigor mortis had set in on Mrs Garbutt.

The officer told the trial: “Mr Garbutt said words to the effect of ‘How can that be? She’s still warm’.” Later, when PC Reed and another officer were transporting Garbutt to police headquarters, the officer told the court, Garbutt asked: “Why was her back still warm?”

Two part-time employees at the shop gave evidence to say the couple seemed happy.

Linda Ling told the court: “I always thought he thought the world of her.”

He bought his wife tickets to the Glastonbury music festival in 2009 as her 40th birthday present, and hired a camper van for her and a female friend.

Linda Sharp said Garbutt was “absolutely wonderful – a very kind, gentle man”.

She added: “They were just a normal, happy couple.”

The trial continues.