NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Man on trial accused of murder of Brian McKandie near Rothienorman

Brian McKandie Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Brian McKandie's body was discovered at his home in Badenscoth

A man has gone on trial charged with the murder of a 67-year-old man in Aberdeenshire.

Brian McKandie was found dead at his cottage at Badenscoth, near the village of Rothienorman, in March 2016.

Steven Sidebottom denies a charge of murdering Mr McKandie and robbing him of money.

The 25-year-old has lodged special defences of incrimination and alibi at the start of his trial at the High Court in Aberdeen.

The first witness called was Mr McKandie's older brother William.

Mr McKandie, 78, said he had been on holiday in Australia when informed of his brother's death and there were no suspicious circumstances at that time.

Crimewatch appeal

He arranged to come home, and arrived at Aberdeen Airport about a week later.

He told the court: "I was informed by the police that it was now a murder inquiry."

Mr McKandie said he later took part in a Crimewatch television appeal, in an attempt to find who was responsible for his brother's death.

The jury was shown the appeal, and heard a £10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction was offered.

Mr McKandie said his brother had lived at Badenscoth practically his whole life, and did car and electrical repairs.

Cash in 'shoebox'

He told the court his brother had been given the all clear from prostate cancer at the end of the year before his death.

Mr McKandie agreed when advocate depute Iain McSporran, prosecuting, suggested that a "significant sum" of money was recovered from the house.

When asked if he knew how well his brother was doing financially, he said he "always pleaded poverty".

He told the court that when he paid his brother for doing work to his car, he would say "I'll put that in my shoebox".

Mr Sidebottom is alleged to have repeatedly struck Mr McKandie with an unidentified blunt implement or implements.

The trial, before Lord Uist, continues on Thursday.

Related Topics