Pathologist tells murder trial of 15 blows to head

Brian McKandie.
Brian McKandie.
0
Have your say

A pensioner allegedly murdered in his cottage was battered over the head “at least 15 times” with a blunt object and lay dying for at least five hours before passing away on the floor of his living room, a trial has heard.

A pensioner allegedly murdered in his cottage was battered over the head “at least 15 times” with a blunt object and lay dying for at least five hours before passing away on the floor of his living room, a trial has heard.

Brian McKandie, who worked as a mechanic from the garage at his rural home in Badenscoth, near Rothienorman in Aberdeenshire, may have been killed using one of the tools from his own workshop, a forensic pathologist told a jury.

Professor James Grieve told day five of a trial at the High Court in Aberdeen that he had been told Mr McKandie’s death was thought to be accidental.

But he said the moment he opened the bag containing his body to conduct a post-mortem examination he saw the horrific head injury the 67-year-old had suffered.

Steven Sidebottom denies murdering and robbing Mr McKandie on 11 March 2016.

The trial earlier heard £190,000 in cash was found by police searching his cottage in the aftermath of his death.

Prof Grieve told the trial yesterday that Mr McKandie had suffered a “sustained” assault with at least 15 blows on his head.

The trial was earlier told that pieces of skull, skin and hair were found inside and outside the cottage.

Prof Grieve said analysis of the brain injuries suffered by Mr McKandie show he lived for at least five or six hours before he died and at some point had managed to haul himself from his bedroom to the living room where his body was eventually found.

He said: “He’s probably come to and is capable of some sort of movement, perhaps crawling or scrambling on the floor looking for some other place of safety and security or for assistance.

“The weapon would have to have been small enough to be wielded in the confined hallway of the house.

“It has to be conceded that in view of the proximity of a mechanical workshop many of the tools could be considered potential weapons.”

Sidebottom, 24, of Rothienorman, Aberdeenshire, denies a single charge of murder. The trial before judge Lord Arthurson continues.