A man accused of murder told police he bought a bottle of vodka at a village shop at the time of his alleged victim’s death.
However, a detective investigating the death of 67-year-old Brian McKandie told a court yesterday she could find no record of the bottle being purchased from the Newmachar store.
Steven Sidebottom, 25, is on trial accused of killing the mechanic at his home in Badenscoth in Aberdeenshire in March 2016.
He denies the charge of murder and robbery and has launched two special defences.
Sidebottom has lodged an alibi claiming he was elsewhere at the time stating that he was 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.
Yesterday Detective Constable Christine White from the major investigation team gave evidence at the High Court in Aberdeen.
She said she had been in contact with Sidebottom in October 2016 and it was the second time police had spoken to him about the death.
The 48-year-old said police had noticed an inconsistency in his previous statement and wanted to query him about it.
She said he had initially claimed he had been at the property of Mr McKandie the Wednesday before he died although another witness had come forward and said he was there on the Thursday.
She said he had told police he had stopped off on a journey 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 her own inquiries with the shop had revealed there was no CCTV footage available to view.
However, she said she was able to collect a record of purchases made on the evening of Friday, March 11.
She was shown the document in court and highlighted that there was no record of any vodka, or any similar item, being bought from the store at that time.
Earlier the court heard from Evita O’Malley, a police analyst who produced a report on Sidebottom’s phone usage.
Messages were shown to jurors between him and his then partner Kudzaishe Chiriseri.
In October following Mr McKandie’s death, Sidebottom speculates about what could have happened to Mr McKandie indicating that Mr McKandie may have wanted to die due to health problems.
The court had heard that Mr McKandie had suffered prostate cancer in 2015 but had since been given the all-clear.
He says: “What if it was asked for? Everyone knew he was ill.”
His girlfriend replies: “Like suicide.”
She asked who would want to die like that and Sidebottom replies: “He could have died on the first blow”, and he said he had “never hit anyone.”
The court heard that at various other stages he asked her to check news websites for updates on the case.
The trial, before Lord Uist, continues.