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Mechanic’s murderer fails to have conviction overturned

Steven Sidebottom was jailed for murdering Brian McKandie at a cottage in Aberdeenshire.

Jailed: Steven Sidebottom killed Brian McKandie. <strong>STV</strong>
Jailed: Steven Sidebottom killed Brian McKandie. STV

A man who murdered a mechanic in Aberdeenshire has failed to have his conviction overturned.

Brian McKandie, 67, was killed at his cottage in Badenscoth near Rothienorman on March 12, 2016.

His death was initially treated as an accident, however 25-year-old Steven Sidebottom was convicted of the pensioner’s murder in February this year.

In March, Sidebottom was given a mandatory life sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh and ordered to serve a minimum of 21 years in prison.

The murderer launched a bid to appeal his conviction and sentence, however his challenge was refused on Wednesday, the appeals court confirmed.

Mr McKandie’s brother, William, told STV News he was “delighted and very happy” with the ruling.

An 18-day trial heard how Sidebottom grew increasingly desperate for money in the lead up to the murder.

He had a VAT bill to pay and was worried about financing his girlfriend’s birthday present.

Sidebottom had heard stories about Mr McKandie “keeping money in a shoebox” and visited the cottage to carry out the murder and robbery.

The pensioner’s battered and blooded body was found on his living-room floor the following day. He had been struck on the head at least 15 times.

During the police investigation, more than £200,000 was found in tins and boxes in the cottage.

Sentencing Sidebottom, Judge Lord Uist said: “The degree of violence used was severe and extreme. This was, in any view, a very brutal murder.”

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