The senior investigating police officer who was sent to the home of a north-east mechanic found dead failed to realise a crime had taken place and has told a court she would have acted differently “in hindsight.”
Brian McKandie was found dead at his home in Badenscoth in March 2016 but police took a week to realise he had been attacked and just under seven weeks to realise almost £200,000 was stored away in the property.
Steven Sidebottom is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen accused of murdering and robbing him.
The 25-year-old, of Crannabog Farm in Rothienorman, denies the charge and has launched two special defences – one that he was elsewhere at the time, another stating that another man, from Bridge of Don, is responsible.
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Today the court heard from Detective Inspector Kerry McCombie, who was the senior investigating office on Saturday, March 12, 2016 when police were called after the body of Mr McKandie was discovered.
She said checks had been carried out which revealed the deceased had never come to the attention of the police and officers had not been called to his rural cottage previously.
She claimed that alongside the working theory that the he had hit his head and stumbled from the garage into his house before dying this led her to think no crime had been committed.
Advocate depute Iain McSporran QC showed her pictures taken by a crime scene examiner which showed blood in various locations such as between drain pipes outside and on a bed as well as pieces of scalp which also outside.
He asked whether she had seen them at the time but she indicated she had not.
Mr McSporran asked her: “When you knew how things developed do you think about the decisions and developments that day, are there any things you would do differently?”
She replied that “with hindsight” she would have “kept open the hypothesis” that his injuries were “caused by criminal activity.”
The trial, before Lord Uist, continues.