A man who brutally killed a north-east handyman in his own home has launched a bid to clear his name.
Steven Sidebottom was last week jailed for a minimum of 21 years for killing Brian McKandie and then robbing him.
Now the 25-year-old has lodged an appeal against both his conviction and sentence.
His case will be heard at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh later this year.
Popular mechanic Mr McKandie was found dead at his home near Rothienorman in March 2016.
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Police initially treated it as an accident, but after a post-mortem it became apparent the 67-year-old – who was known for fixing cars, washing machines and odd bits in the local community – had received at least 15 vicious blows to the head with a blunt object.
The pensioner was left with a broken skull, brain damage, and bruising all over his face, shoulders and arms.
When Sidebottom was sentenced last week, Lord Uist said he had carried out a “very brutal” murder on the “inoffensive and popular” pensioner.
Mr McKandie was known to have large sums of cash in his home, and after his death police found around £200,000 stashed away in sweetie tins and shoeboxes around his rural cottage.
Lord Uist said the murder was part of a planned robbery, and that Sidebottom was “in possession of a large amount of cash” after Mr McKandie’s death.
The judge told him he should not “assume” he would be released after the 21-year minimum term, adding: “You will be released only when it is considered no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be confined in prison”.
Bringing Sidebottom to court involved on of the largest investigations in the history of Scottish policing.
After the sentencing, Detective Superintendent Iain Smith said: “Sidebottom is a cruel and calculated murderer who has yet to show any remorse for his actions.”
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