The pathologist who investigated the body of a north-east mechanic found dead in his home has told a court he “unzipped the bag” and realised straight away something was “not right”.
Brian McKandie was found deceased in his Badenscoth property in March 2016.
And Steven Sidebottom is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen accused of murdering him and robbing him of a sum of money.
The jurors heard earlier this week that the police initially believed he had fallen, injured his head and succumbed to his injuries.
As a result of this no pathologists were sent to the scene and it took around a week to realise he had been attacked.
And today the court heard from Professor James Grieve, a forensic pathologist, who was asked to look at the body.
He told the court that where a crime is suspected two pathologists look at a body because “Scots law requires corroboration” but where a death is not thought of as suspicious only one is required to take a look.
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He began the examination into Mr McKandie alone and revealed what happened.
He said he zipped it straight back up as it was not what he was expecting and began to make inquiries as something was “not right”.
When asked why it was not what he was expecting he said that there were injuries on the left, front and rear of the head meaning it was exceptionally unlikely that these could have been self inflicted.
He was also taken through the report he prepared, in which he indicated Mr McKandie had sustained “at least” 15 strikes which could be more including the ones which missed or did not meet him with enough force.
He said: “You are asking me to suspend credibility if you are asking me to believe some one threw themselves down 15 times.”
Furthermore he said there were “abrasions” on his chest which could suggest he had been dragged and also an injury on his left hand thumb which suggested he had blocked an incoming attack.
Sidebottom, 25, of Crannabog Farm in Rothienorman, denies the charge and has launched two special defences – one that he was elsewhere at the time, another stating that another man, from Bridge of Don, is responsible.
The trial, before Lord Uist, continues.