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Brother of murdered man first told death 'not suspicious'

Brian McKandie was found dead at his cottage near Rothienorman, Aberdeenshire.

Murder trial: Brian McKandie was found dead at his cottage
Murder trial: Brian McKandie was found dead at his cottage

The brother of a murdered mechanic has said police initially told him there were no suspicious circumstances when they called to inform him about his death.

Brian McKandie was found dead at his cottage at Badenscoth, near Rothienorman in Aberdeenshire.

Steven Sidebottom is alleged to have killed the 67-year-old on March 11, 2016.

At the High Court in Aberdeen, Mr McKandie's brother, William, of Buckie, was phoned by police while on holiday visiting his two daughters in Australia. They told him is brother had died in circumstances which were not suspicious.

However, when he arrived home in Scotland, officers said his brother's death was being treated as murder.

He described his brother as a frugal man and was surprised at the amount of money later found in the house.

Death: Blood on outside of his house.
Death: Blood on outside of his house. Police Scotland

The jury were shown pictures taken by crime scene examiner Julie Goodeve the evening after Mr McKandie's death.

They showed blood stains outside on the walls of the house and on the doors, walls and carpet inside.

Ms Goodeve said the understanding at the time was that Mr McKandie had fallen and hit his head and had gone into the house to get help.

She said it was being treated as though it was likely to be an accident. She didn't know at the time if it was suspicious or not.

Steven Sidebottom denies the charge. The trial continues.

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