The jury has heard the closing speeches in the murder trial of a man accused of bludgeoning a popular north-east mechanic to death.
Steven Sidebottom is accused of attacking Brian McKandie at his Badenscoth property in March 2016 and robbing him of money.
Prosecutors allege circumstantial evidence shows he came into money which could only have come from the home of Mr McKandie and as such he was responsible for the murder.
The court heard previously that £200,000 in cash was recovered from the home of the 67-year-old.
Sidebottom is said to have passed £2,000 to Roddy Blacklaws, proprietor of the Vale Hotel, to help him with a VAT bill.
Evidence has also been heard that he presented a “wad of cash” containing £50 notes to his girlfriend Kudzaishe Chiriseri after Mr McKandie’s death, and the jury also heard he bought a £700 car.
Giving evidence, Mr Blacklaws insisted the money was given to him two days before the death of Mr McKandie.
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The court also heard Sidebottom was making just £200 a month from his job at his home on Crannabog Farm in Rothienorman and was paying £173 of this on child maintenance.
In concluding the case for the prosecution, advocate depute Iain McSporran QC said while there was no direct or forensic evidence, all of the circumstancial evidence when considered together would leave jurors in do doubt Sidebottom was responsible.
He said: “Mr McKandie had no known enemies and no motive for the violent assault that ended his life, no motive apart from robbery.”
He added that as everyone knew Mr McKandie joked about putting money in a “shoe box” it was a reasonable inference that Sidebottom could have expected to find money there and that he was the guilty man.
He added: “He had no way of having his hands on these sums of cash.”
He added that Sidebottom’s claim to police that he had left the Vale Hotel in Fyvie on the night and travelled to Aberdeen was contradicted by a trace on his phone which showed he had gone in the opposite direction.
Mr McSporran said: “What was stopping him from just going to Aberdeen?”
He added that were “two hours of inactivity” between 7.50pm and 9.40pm and said this was plenty of time for him to have carried out the killing and changed clothes.
But representing Sidebottom, defence counsel Ian Duguid QC said the jury had been invited to “speculate” by the prosecution.
He said it was improbable a man with no previous convictions would kill a friend for money to help someone with a VAT bill.
He added there was no evidence Mr McKandie had been robbed and that if the jury agreed Sidebottom must be acquitted as the murder and robbery were “inextricably linked” by prosecutors.
Mr Duguid also stressed there was no direct evidence to place Sidebottom at the scene on the day.
Sidebottom, 25, denies the charge against him.
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