The former partner of a man accused of murder told a court she had to calm him down when he realised the police were treating the death as suspicious.
Steven Sidebottom is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen accused of bludgeoning mechanic Brian McKandie to death at his home in Badenscoth on March 11 2016 and robbing him of money.
Yesterday, jurors heard evidence from Kudzaishe Chiriseri, who told how he lavished gifts on her for her birthday several days later on March 19.
The law student at Robert Gordon University told the court he bought her a laptop and iPad and that they had only been dating since the previous December.
Advocate depute Iain McSporran asked her: “What did you think when he got you a laptop and iPad just a few months after first meeting?”
She replied: “I was quite surprised. It seemed like a big gift to get someone you haven’t known for a long time.”
She was then asked: “Did he also, around about the time of your birthday, leave money in the flat to make sure you were going to be alright financially?”
Ms Chiriseri replied: “Yes he left some.”
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When pressed on the amount, she said it was “substantial”, and added it was “wrapped up in a rubber band” and contained pink £50 notes which she had not seen before.
She was later shown text messages exchanged between the pair on March 18, when police launched the murder probe.
In one he says he is worried because his “fingerprints” will be at Mr McKandie’s property and he knows police will question him.
She said she was with him that night and he asked her to vouch for him.
Records showed the pair then had three phonecalls in quick succession lasting more than an hour in total.
When asked what they spoke about, she said: “He was freaking out about what had happened, I was trying to calm him down.”
Representing Sidebottom, 25, defence counsel Ian Duguid asked if he was someone to worry a lot, even about needless matters, and she confirmed he was.
Sidebottom, of Crannabog Farm, Rothienorman, denies the charge against him and has launched special defences of alibi and incrimination.
The trial, before Lord Uist, continues.