A man accused of bludgeoning a north-east mechanic to death inside his home was seen outside the property the day before, a court heard.
Brian McKandie was found dead in Fairview Cottages in Badenscoth, Rothienorman, in March of 2016.
And Steven Sidebottom, 25, is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen accused of murdering him and stealing money from him.
Yesterday a friend of Mr McKandie said she and her children saw Sidebottom at the property the day before he died.
Giving evidence yesterday, Jill Auchnie told a jury Mr McKandie had been undertaking some work on her car and she had gone to collect it on the evening of Thursday March 10.
She said when she approached she saw a white van parked there and a man exiting the garage as she went in.
The 43-year-old said her son and daughter had joined her as she spoke to Mr McKandie for 15 to 20 minutes.
When she came out, the man was still there. Advocate depute Iain McSporran asked her if she could see the man in court. She identified Sidebottom as the man she’d seen.
The witness claimed there had been a brief conversation involving him and her daughter while her son was still in the garage speaking to Mr McKandie, but she could not recall any details.
When asked whether she thought anything of it she said: “I remember saying to my husband how strange it was that the person was still there.”
Earlier in the day, the court heard from numerous scenes of crime examiners.
The first of these, Julie Goodeve, was called to Fairview Cottages on Saturday March 12.
She said the death was not initially treated as suspicious and so protective gear was not in place.
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She said “the general consensus was an accident has occurred” and the hypothesis was that Mr McKandie had hit his head then fallen to his death.
The court later heard from John Dingwall who became involved at the scene when a post-mortem examination revealed the cause of the injuries.
Mr Dingwall said: “It was April 28. The crime scene manager and other police officers had been searching the scene and had found money in tins.”
Sidebottom, of Crannabog Farm in Rothienorman, denies the charge against him.
His defence team have launched two special defences; that he was elsewhere at his home and at other locations when the crime took place, and that another man, from Bridge of Don, was responsible.
The trial continues.