A north-east murder accused told police he bought vodka at a shop during the time of the incident – but a court heard today the store had no record of the purchase.
Brian McKandie was found dead at his rural cottage in Badenscoth in March 2016.
And Steven Sidebottom is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen accused of bludgeoning him to death.
The 25-year-old denies the allegation and has launched two special defences. One of these is an alibi claiming he was elsewhere at the time including at his home in Crannabog Farm in Rothienorman, at the Vale Hotel in Fyvie, at the Co-Op in Newmachar and at St Peters Hall in Aberdeen.
And today the court heard from Detective Constable Christine White from the major investigation team who was tasked with looking into the circumstances of the death of the 67-year-old mechanic.
She said she had interviewed Sidebottom in October 2016 and this was the second time he had been spoken to.
The 48-year-old said he was spoken to because of a prior inconsistency – he had initially claimed he had been at the property of Mr McKandie the Wednesday before he died but another witness had come forward and said he was there on the Thursday.
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She said he had said he had stopped on the way from Fyvie to Aberdeen to buy alcohol from the Co-op in Newmachar.
She said: “Mr Sidebottom had stated he had purchased a bottle of gold leaf vodka and possibly cigarettes.”
The officer told the court she made inquiries about CCTV but was told there was none so far on from the incident but was able to collect a record of purchases made the evening of Friday, 11 March.
Advocate depute Iain McSporran showed her the record which she said she had been through at time time.
He asked whether there was any record of “gold leaf” or any other “gold vodka” or “anything similar.”
She replied: “No.”
The trial, before Lord Uist, continues.