‘Innocent’ postmaster convicted of spouse’s homicide ‘using Horizon evidence’ | UK | News | EUROtoday

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Robin Garbutt Diana

Robin Garbutt was convicted of murdering his spouse Diana in 2010 (Image: PA)

A person convicted of beating his spouse to loss of life earlier than fabricating a theft on the Post Office which they ran to cowl it up has claimed he’s sufferer of an enormous miscarriage of justice stemming from the unreliable Horizon system.

Robin Garbutt, 57, was jailed in 2011 after he was discovered responsible of the homicide of his spouse Diana, 40, at their dwelling above their Post Office in Melsonby, North Yorkshire.

He has continued to protest his innocence, claiming the Post Office used Horizon to recommend he was stealing cash to be able to finance extravagant purchases.

Without the Post Office’s Horizon proof, the motive for the homicide – and the way wherein it was staged – known as into query, Garbutt’s supporters declare.

In a bid to drive a retrial, Garbutt has taken his case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) on a complete of three events, shedding every time, most just lately in November 2023, concluding: “Figures from the Horizon system were not essential to his conviction for murder.”

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Yhe publish workplace in Melsonby, North Yorkshire, the place Diane Garbutt was murdered (Image: PA)

The acclaimed ITV drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office has shone a light-weight on the scandal, significantly the unreliability of the IT system constructed by Japanese tech agency Fujitsu.

The Crown’s case was that Garbutt had killed his spouse, the postmistress, in March 2010, believing she was having an affair and in addition out of concern that his theft of hundreds of kilos of Post Office money was about to be revealed.

Post Office investigators, believed to have been concerned within the unsafe convictions of sub-postmasters for each fraud and theft, additionally supplied proof in opposition to Garbutt.

Mr Justice Openshaw, in his summing as much as the jury which convicted Garbutt, stated: “It is the case for the prosecution that money was being stolen from the Post Office and that the theft was concealed by a series of false declarations as to the amount of money in the safe.”

Diana Robin Garbutt

Diana Garbutt, 40, with Robin Garbutt (Image: PA)

Appeal paperwork, seen by The Telegraph, reveal {that a} so-called “pattern of fraud” was highlighted utilizing Horizon.

Garbutt’s declare to have been robbed at gunpoint, and that his spouse was battered to loss of life by a second assailant was rejected by 10-2 majority.

Handing Garbutt a life sentence on the finish of the trial, and telling him he would serve a minimal of 20 years, the choose stated: “He struck three savage blows, smashing her skull and causing her immediate death as clearly he intended. This was a brutal, planned, cold-blooded murder of his wife as she lay sleeping in bed.”

But Dr Michael Naughton, a legislation educational at Bristol University who runs the CCRC Watch and has scrutinised the case, stated: “The prosecution used the Horizon evidence to support its claim that the motive for the murder was that Robin Garbutt was stealing money from the Post Office side of the business and he needed to kill his wife to cover it up.

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Robin Garbutt

Robin Garbutt is serving a life sentence at HM Prison Wealstun (Image: PA)

Robin Garbutt

The metal bar Robin Garbutt was convicted of using to kill his wife with (Image: PA)

“Horizon was used to show he was defrauding the Post Office. I don’t know if Robin Garbutt did or did not kill his wife, but I do know that the evidence that led to his conviction is no longer reliable and every aspect has been discredited.”

Speaking yesterday, Garbutt’s brother-in-law Mark Stillborn stated: “The prosecution said there was a shortfall which gave him a motive to stage the robbery. They said Diana was doing the accounts and she found out and that is why he killed her.

“I am 100 per cent sure Robin is innocent. Everybody who knows Robin knows he is innocent. Robin is the nicest person you will ever meet.”

Edward Abel Smith, an writer writing a e-book in regards to the case, stated: “They used Horizon data to build a picture which showed Robin had been stealing from the Post Office for some time and was now using the robbery to cover up the missing money.”

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Campaigners have identified that no forensic proof has ever linked Garbutt to the homicide weapon – an iron bar which was discovered by police positioned on a wall close by two days after the homicide.

In a press release issued in November 2022, the CCRC stated: “Much of Mr Garbutt’s application to the CCRC focused on the Post Office Horizon scandal, which has led to several fraud and theft convictions of former Post Office workers being overturned, many after referral by the CCRC. The CCRC decided that this argument could not assist Mr Garbutt, as figures from the Horizon system were not essential to his conviction for murder.”

In a letter despatched to the CCRC the next summer season from HM Prison Wealstun, the place he’s incarcerated, Garbutt wrote: “The horror scenewill live with me forever.

“By failing to progress my case to the Court of Appeal you are failing myself, my poor wife and the safety of others as there is a murderer at large. And, whilst I am detained in prison, that will not change.”