A former post office owner jailed for the murder of his wife is claiming the faulty Horizon computer system was used to wrongly frame him, according to reports in national newspapers.

It is understood Robin Garbutt hopes to submit a fresh appeal against his conviction for the brutal killing of his wife Diana in the flat above their business in Melsonby, near Richmond, in March 2010.

The Northern Echo: Diana Garbutt died in 2010Diana Garbutt died in 2010 (Image: Contributor)He has maintained his innocence ever since her death, but the Guardian has reported Diana’s mother said: “It’s obvious to anyone that Robin is taking advantage of the Horizon scandal to gain publicity.

“I don’t believe he’s going to get far with it.”

The Northern Echo: Agnes GaylorAgnes Gaylor (Image: Contributor)Garbutt said balaclava-clad gunman made him hand over £16,000 cash, before he ran upstairs, to find Diana dead.

He was found guilty after a trial at Teesside Crown Couret trial in 2011 on the basis of circumstantial evidence with the jury split 10-2.

There was no DNA evidence to link him to the murder, or the metal bar used to kill Diana, but the jury heard evidence from a Post Office investigator using data from the Horizon system.

It was said he was stealing money from the Post Office and staged an armed robbery to cover up his theft with Diana killed to make it ‘look real’ or to silence her because she had found out what he was doing.

The Northern Echo: The Post Office in Melsonby at the time of Diana's death in 2010The Post Office in Melsonby at the time of Diana's death in 2010 (Image: Northern Echo)A second possible motive – Diana’s relationships with three other men - was also suggested in court but Garbutt said their marriage problems were ‘in the past’.

The judge imposed a life sentence with a minimum tariff of 20 years and Garbutt will not be considered for release until October 2030.

He lost his first appeal against conviction in 2012 and the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which can refer cases back to the court of appeal, has rejected his pleas three times since.

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The Guardian said he had answered questions from HMP Wealstun, a low-security jail in West Yorkshire, and said he hoped the Government’s decision to quash all Horizon-dependent convictions could allow him to make a fresh appeal.

He reportedly said the ITV drama on the scandal had been ‘deeply upsetting’.

He reportedly said: “The way the Post Office dealt with me was the same way that they dealt with the other people.”

He said unreliable data from Horizon ‘was used in court to make me look bad’.

Garbutt said: “We had a lot of problems with the system going down, not working.

“All the [financial] evidence used against me at trial, we have no means of checking whether it was accurate.”

The Northern Echo: Diana and Robin GarbuttDiana and Robin Garbutt (Image: Contributor)Records dating back six years, including audited records, Garbutt claims, show ‘nothing unusual’ in the cashflow in and out of the Post Office when Diana was killed.

They were submitted to the court of appeal in 2012, but the bid was rejected and judges said there was evidence of ‘financial strain’ outside the Post Office as the couple had £44,000 of debt on personal credit cards and an overdraft.

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Edward Abel Smith, an author researching the murder for a book, reportedly told the Guardian: “Although I do not have a strong opinion either way, there is ample evidence to suggest Robin Garbutt’s conviction is at least unsafe.

“The jury were told that Robin Garbutt had been stealing from the Post Office, and that his transactions followed a similar pattern to other Post Office fraud cases which we now know relied on faulty data from the Horizon system.

“Those convictions have this week been declared unsafe and are going to be quashed.

“Shouldn’t Robin now get a fresh, fair hearing in front of a new jury?”