A man accused of murdering a north-east mechanic in his rural cottage told police he had “no idea who was responsible”.
Brian McKandie was found dead in his home in Badenscoth in March 2016.
And Steven Sidebottom is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen accused of murdering and robbing him.
The court heard yesterday that he was taking home just £27 a month after child maintenance from his work on his family’s farm.
Police Constable Lauren Duthie was one of the officers who interviewed Sidebottom in October 2016, which was the second time he was spoken to by police.
Jurors heard she spoke to him after an inconsistency emerged from his initial interview – he had told officers he had been at the property of McKandie on the Wednesday before he died, but the family who saw him there had said it was on Thursday.
The transcript of the interview which was read aloud stated he had no explanation for this, but that he had not been there for two nights running.
It also said he was “definitely not at Brian’s on Friday evening” as he was “working on the family farm” before he “got finished at 4.30pm, got washed” and “left for Aberdeen.”
He said he stopped at a hotel in Fyvie between 5-6pm and stopped at the “Co-op in Newmachar.”
The 25-year-old’s statements went on to say he arrived at his girlfriend’s who stayed in St Peters Hall “between 8-9pm” before they went out drinking in “Triple Kirks and Slains Castle.”
He added that he spent the weekend with her and it was only on Sunday he found out Mr McKandie had died.
His statement concluded: “I have no idea who could be responsible for Mr McKandie’s murder.”
The court also heard from an earlier statement in which he described the mechanic as someone he had known all his life and as a friend as well as being someone who he would talk to about cars.
Earlier in the day, Susan Sidebottom, the accused’s mother, gave evidence.
She said he was paid £200 a month as part of his retainer package, which included him being given accommodation, clothes and food, but £173 of this went on child maintenance towards his daughter.
Defence counsel Ian Duguid asked her whether he had done a week’s work in a forestry firm and had returned and given her £600 from this and she confirmed he had.
Sidebottom, of Crannabog Farm, denies the charge against him.
He has launched two special defences, one that he was elsewhere at the time and another that a man from Bridge of Don was responsible.
The trial, before Lord Uist, continues.