Police scene examiners who attended at the home of a north-east mechanic found dead originally thought his death was an accident, a court has heard.
Steven Sidebottom has gone on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen accused of bludgeoning Brian McKandie to death at his home in Fairview Cottages in Badenscoth in March 2016.
The 25-year-old, of Crannabog Farm in Rothienorman, denies the charge against him and has launched two special defences – one of alibi claiming he was elsewhere at the time of the crime and that another man is responsible.
And today the court heard from Julie Goodeve, a police scene examiner with the Scottish Police Authority who was sent to the area the day McKandie was found dead on Saturday March, 12.
She said it was not initially being treated as suspicious and so protective gear was not in place.
She said “the general consensus was an accident has occurred” and the hypothesis was that McKandie had hit his head then fallen to his death.
Advocate Depute Iain McSporran asked her: “There was a suggestion Mr McKandie had been working in the garage, came out tripped and fallen?”
She replied: “That was one of the hypotheses.”
He then asked: “Did you have any input into as to whether this was a crime scene or not?”
She replied: “I did not but if I felt particularly uncomfortable I would have spoken up.”
The court was then shown the pictures she took at the scene which showed blood over much of the property.
Lord Uist asked her: “Have you come across blood splattering like that that was not the scene of a homicide?”
She replied: “Yes.”
Later in the day she revealed she was called back to the scene on Friday, March 18 by which time a post mortem has revealed the death was not an accident.
The trial continues.