I believe there to be a great miscarriage of justice in the case of Robin Garbutt by Vanessa Golding
My name is Vanessa Golding. My husband and I were close friends of both Diana and Robin Garbutt.
This letter is to highlight some of the underhanded methods that they police used in the investigation into the murder of Diana Garbutt, which I experienced first-hand.
The news of Diana‘s death hit the village hard, not just for Robin, his family and friends, but also for Diana’s family and friends and the whole community, too.
I remember on the day that we heard about Diana's murder everyone rallied round searching for any evidence to assist the police in catching the murderer.
Late that afternoon, we discovered an abandoned black hoodie jacket in Jagger Lane, a full packet of cigarettes and a pair of gloves up Moor Road. We did not pick up the items in case of contamination but, rather, informed the police immediately.
The police came to our house, searched our gardens and emptied our bins. It was traumatic to say the least.
They then interviewed both my husband and I separately in regards to our relationship with Robin. During the interview they asked questions regarding Robins finances and did he have a locker anywhere.
I asked them why they were not asking about what I had seen or witnessed the day of the murder.
They continued to question me and asked whether our close friends, including Diana and Robin were swingers, which insulted me as we are not and never have been. When my husband was interviewed, he also told the police about the hoodie, cigarettes and gloves that had been found, but the items were not picked up for one whole week, during which the North East had torrential rain. We know this to be a fact, as the police woman who retrieved the items came to our house and asked us to show where they were. By this time any evidence that could’ve been taken from them was destroyed by the heavy rain. There are a number of what can only be called puzzling incidents by the police right from the start of the investigation into Diana's murder: · The only line of questioning was to implicate Robin. · Cleveland Police informed North Yorkshire police on the day of the murder that they had found a balaclava and a gun behind a pub in Thornaby. Richmond police were not interested in picking it up or considering it as evidence, Why not? · The metal bar/murder weapon that was found on the wall could not have been put there by Robin, who was in custody at the time. I, personally, picked up from the tapes (video and audio recordings) from the BBC in Middlesbrough from the day of the murder, which clearly shows no bar on the wall of Nixon’s garage, which is where it was discovered three days later. · A clump of hair in Diana’s hand went missing from the crime scene to the coroners. How is this possible? This hair, which was clearly shown on the scene of crime photographs, was not the same colour of Robin's or Diana's. Vital evidence relating to Diana's murder lost and unaccountable. How did this happen? · The bedside lamps were splattered in blood, but they were placed by the police into a wardrobe. They were not submitted as evidence and they have not been tested to this day. Why not? · The pathologist did not receive the small intestines to make an accurate decision on what exactly Diana had eaten that night so they could establish a reliable time of death. Surely, this is crucial evidence in a murder case, which shouldn't be based on guess work based on her stomach contents? · A tachograph card from a Lorry Driver provided to the police with vital timing in this case also went missing. How? · At one point, the judge sent the jury out and told the prosecution to get their act together and decide what their case was really about, as they had changed so many times. I would also like to highlight that I refused to sign my written statement written for me by the police. I told the police that I couldn't sign it as it was peppered with detrimental wording throughout and things that I did not say were added to it at a later date. I requested a copy of my tape interview, which was denied. This would’ve proven that the statement was not my original. I wonder how many more were adjusted to suit the case against Robin? The truth is that Robin had NO blood splatter on him and there was no DNA evidence that he did the murder. The entire case against him was based on Timing and Finances. The timing has been proven to be inconclusive. And, the Post Office computer scandal has since proven that the financial evidence was unreliable. I believe that with all this evidence before the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) that questions must be raised as to the Integrity and the handling of this case by North Yorkshire Police, who themselves stated on national TV that mistakes had been made by them and lessons would be learnt.
The police are supposed to act professionally, which on this occasion I must question.
By Vanessa Golding
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