A police crime scene manager told a court yesterday that officers recovered almost £200,000 of cash while clearing out an alleged murder victim’s home.
Police began investigating the death of Brian McKandie a week after his body was discovered at a rural cottage in Badenscoth in March 2016.
Steven Sidebottom, 25, is on trial accused of murdering and robbing the 67-year-old at his home.
The jury heard yesterday that it was not until officers began removing furniture from the property that the money was discovered.
The High Court in Aberdeen has heard that the cash, which was stored in biscuit tins and other items, was not found until almost seven weeks after officers first arrived on the scene.
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Yesterday the court heard evidence from Police Sergeant Stuart Fischer, who was in charge of the property until it was handed over to Mr McKandie’s family in July that year.
Advocate depute Iain McSporran QC asked him about the discovery.
He said: “Had there been any suspicion that there was massive amounts of cash within the premises?”
The officer replied: “There was nothing to suggest we would find what we did.”
He was then asked about the circumstances of April 28 that year when the money was found.
He said: “That day we were trying to take all the items out of the house.”
The court also heard from Alison Smith, who had recently moved to the nearby area and got to know Sidebottom through drinking in the Vale Hotel in Fyvie in March and April 2016.
She said he had carried out jobs for her on a voluntary basis such as chopping down a tree but was never paid for them.
When asked about her perception of his financial situation she said: “I did not think he had a lot of money, I never saw Steven with a lot of money.”
She added that he had asked for a loan of £350 which be used for his girlfriend’s new flat.
Sidebottom, 25, denies the charge against him and has launched two special defences.
The first of these claims he was elsewhere including at his home at Crannabog Farm in Rothienorman, the Vale Hotel, the Co-Op in Newmachar and St Peters Hall in Aberdeen at the time of the incident.
The other states that another man, from Bridge of Don, is responsible.
The trial, before Lord Uist, continues.