Brian McKandie death: Steven Sidebottom to face January trial
A man charged with the murder of a 67-year-old in his Aberdeenshire home is due to go on trial in January.
Brian McKandie was found dead at his cottage at Badenscoth, near Rothienorman, on 12 March 2016.
Steven Sidebottom, 24, appeared in the dock at the High Court in Glasgow where he denied murder and robbery. He lodged a special defence of alibi.
Judge Lady Stacey set a trial date for 29 January at the High Court in Aberdeen.
Mr Sidebottom is accused of repeatedly striking Mr McKandie with an unidentified blunt implement or implements and robbing him of a sum of money.
He is also charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice by removing a bath, a sink, a basin, pipe works, carpeting, flooring and other items from a chalet on Crannnabog Farm, Rothienorman, between 22 December last year and February this year.
Mr Sidebottom is further charged with theft and driving while unfit through drink or drugs.
Prosecutor Iain McSporran QC said that he intended to call up to 82 witnesses and added: "I estimate the trial will last for four weeks."