A shopkeeper accused of murdering his postmistress wife broke down and wept as a court heard a recording of his 999 call for help.

A jury also heard Robin Garbutt told detectives his wife, Diana, wanted more sex but he did not like doing it in the living quarters above their shop.

Garbutt, 45, formerly of York and Huby, told officers he attended Relate sessions with his 40-year-old wife, and they were working on the physical side of their relationship.

He denies bludgeoning her three times over the head as she slept above The Village Shop and Post Office in Melsonby, North Yorkshire, in March 2010.

The prosecution at Teesside Crown Court claims Garbutt, who had £30,000 credit card debts, murdered his wife, who grew up in Selby and Eggborough, then pretended an armed robber killed her and fled with cash.

The jury has heard she struck up relationships with three men, and after he was arrested Garbutt told detectives: “We did not have enough sex. We both would like more.

“It was something we were always working on. It did upset Di at times but we did discuss it.”

He blamed his hours working in the shop, and said having sex above the shop was “not the ideal place”.

Garbutt denied the detective’s suggestion that he was only interested in the shop. He agreed they had discussed her moving out and renting somewhere else, but denied it was so she could sleep with other people, saying: “I was under the impression it was to give us more space.”

Garbutt said he “never” felt he was losing his wife and said he had never hit her, and never would.

Garbutt’s 999 call was played and he wept as the court heard him tell the operator: “She’s gone a funny colour.”

Meanwhile, a juror has told the judge he was contacted through Facebook to ask if he was sitting on the Melsonby case.

The contact was made by someone claiming to be sitting in the public gallery, but the juror told the judge he deleted the message immediately.

Mr Justice Openshaw said the juror acted sensibly and warned that the person responsible would be arrested for “an obvious contempt of court” if it happened again.