Dead man had £200,000 in cash stored in his home

Scene of crime of­fi­cers took a month to dis­cover the hoard of money

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS - BY CHRIS JAFFRAY

A me­chanic found dead in his ru­ral Aberdeen­shire home had nearly £200,000 in cash stored in the house, a court has heard.

Brian McKandie was found dead in Baden­scoth in March 2016 and Steven Side­bot­tom, 25, is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen ac­cused of mur­der­ing and rob­bing him.

Yes­ter­day, ju­rors heard that scene of crime of­fi­cers did not dis­cover the money un­til the fol­low­ing month.

Kelly Dun­bar, a friend of Mr McKandie, took her car to the me­chanic’s house the day he was found with the in­ten­tion of hav­ing him check it over ahead of an MOT.

She said she went with her part­ner and daugh­ter and could not find Mr McKandie but was sure he was not far away as both his ve­hi­cles were there.

The 42-year-old said they left but re­turned 20 min­utes later be­cause “some­thing was not right” and when she looked through the win­dow of his home she saw blood and called the po­lice.

She said of­fi­cers ar­rived 20 min­utes later with fire and am­bu­lance crews and she was told to wait in her car, which she did, and they were later told he was dead.

Her part­ner, Mark Coutts, also gave ev­i­dence and was asked by de­fence coun­sel Ian Duguid about his re­la­tion­ship with Mr McKandie.

He said the me­chanic would joke about money go­ing into a shoe box and that he would have to go to the bank as the shoe box was full, but said he had never seen such an item.

Mr Duguid said: “There was dis­cov­ered nearly £200,000 cash in the house. Did you have any in­cli­na­tion that he had that money stored in tins, boxes and wal­lets?”

He said he had not. Later the court heard from PC Ross McDon­ald who said the home was not ini­tially treated as a crime scene.

He said paramedics had told him that Mr McKandie’s use of war­farin, an an­ti­co­ag­u­lant, could ex­plain the amount of blood found at the scene.

Side­bot­tom, of Crannabog Farm in Roth­ienor­man, de­nies the charge against him and has launched spe­cial de­fences of al­ibi and in­crim­i­na­tion, claim­ing he was else­where at the time of the crime and that an­other man is re­spon­si­ble.

The trial, be­fore Lord Uist, con­tin­ues.

‘SOME­THING WAS NOT RIGHT’: Kelly Dun­bar told ju­rors of the mo­ment she found Mr McKandie

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