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No DNA found that could link north-east murder accused with deceased man, court told

No DNA was found which could link a north-east murder accused with the deceased, a court has heard.

Steven Sidebottom is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen accused of bludgeoning Brian McKandie at his rural Badenscoth Cottage in March 2016.

The jurors heard previously that the 67-year-old mechanic had been struck at least 15 times and it took police a week to realise he had been the victim of an attack.

And today the court has heard from forensic expert Kenneth Brown from the Scottish Police Authority.

He said that the patterns of blood indicated Mr McKandie was struck while on the ground outside his home after he had already been attacked.

He added that it was possible that he had been dragged into the property or that he had made his way inside.

Advocate depute Iain McSporran asked him about his methodology, and said whether he would have produced a possibility of Mr McKandie and Sidebottom having overlapping DNA if any belonging to the accused was recovered.

He said: “No such DNA was found.”

Mr Brown replied: “That is correct.”

He explained that no DNA belonging to Sidebottom was found in Mr McKandie’s home in Fairview Cottages and nothing of Mr McKandie’s was found on items belonging to Sidebottom including his vehicle or at his home in a chalet on Crannabog Farm in Rothienorman.

He added that at the scene there was no sign of a “disturbance” that you might expect if someone “rifled around” as there were no cupboards or drawers found open.

A report he had compiled which was read to the jury said police had not begun conducting searches of Sidebottom until December 2016.

Mr McSporran asked him whether the lack of DNA excluded the possibility that Sidebottom was the assailant.

He said it does not.

Sidebottom denies the charge against him and has launched a special defence of alibi and incrimination.

The trial, before Lord Uist, continues.

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