NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Brian McKandie's murderer Steven Sidebottom loses appeal bid

Steven Sidebottom and Brian McKandie Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Steven Sidebottom had denied murdering and robbing Brian McKandie

A man convicted of the brutal murder of a 67-year-old handyman has had his bid to appeal against conviction and sentence refused, BBC Scotland has learned.

Brian McKandie was found dead in his cottage near Rothienorman in Aberdeenshire in March 2016.

Steven Sidebottom, 25, was jailed in March for a minimum of 21 years for killing and robbing Mr McKandie.

The conviction and sentence challenge has been refused at the appeal court.

Police initially treated Mr McKandie's death as an accident.

However a post-mortem examination later found he had suffered at least 15 blows to the head.

Money in tins

Sidebottom, who knew Mr McKandie and lived locally, denied carrying out the attack.

A jury at the High Court in Aberdeen returned a majority guilty verdict after an 18-day trial.

Sentencing Sidebottom at the High Court in Aberdeen, Lord Uist told the father-of-one and first time offender he had been convicted of the murder of an "inoffensive and popular" man.

Image copyright Crown Office
Image caption Police later found about £200,000 in notes in the cottage

The judge said: "The degree of violence used was severe and extreme.

"This was in any view a very brutal murder.

"You have continued to deny your guilt since your conviction and shown no remorse."

It was thought Sidebottom got away with a few thousand pounds.

Police later found about £200,000 stashed away in tins and shoeboxes in Mr McKandie's home.

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