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Mechanic suffered '15 blows' to head, murder trial hears

Brian McKandie, 67, was found dead at his cottage near Rothienorman in Aberdeenshire.

Brian McKandie: Said to have suffered blows to the head.
Brian McKandie: Said to have suffered blows to the head.

A mechanic suffered 15 blows to the head before he died, a murder trial has heard.

Brian McKandie's body was found at his cottage at Badenscoth, near Rothienorman in Aberdeenshire.

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

Professor James Grieve of Aberdeen University said Mr McKandie suffered at least 15 blows to the head, leaving him with a fractured skull.

At the High Court in Aberdeen, he said neuropathologist, professor Colin Smith, concluded Mr McKandie's brain was "remarkably swollen" from blows to the head.

He said he could have survived for "several hours" after the alleged attack.

The court heard Mr Mckandie would have been conscious for some of the time and probably moved through the house to his final resting place behind the living room door.

He said abrasions and bruising to Mr McKandie's chest were probably caused by being dragged by his feet, chest down, over a hard surface.

Lacerations and bruising to the hands were probably caused Mr McKandie trying to defend himself from blows to the head, the court heard.

The conclusions added it was possible his injuries had been caused by a weapon but couldn't rule out the possibility that more than one was used.

Sidebottom's older brother Robert said Steven had borrowed tools from Mr McKandie "dozens of times" and borrowed a spanner from him in the week he died.

The 34-year-old agreed he had told police in a statement in February 2017 that Sidebottom "lived beyond his means".

He had no explanation why his brother would have about £2000 in cash in March 2016.

Steven Sidebottom, 24, denies the charge. The trial continues.

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