A “cruel and calculated” killer who murdered a north-east mechanic in his own home has had his bid to appeal against his conviction and sentence refused.
Brian McKandie, 67, was found dead at his cottage in Badenscoth, near Rothienorman in Aberdeenshire, on Saturday March 12, 2016.
Steven Sidebottom – a man with no previous history of violent offending – was convicted by a jury in Aberdeen of beating the handyman to death and robbing him of a sum of money.
A court heard Sidebottom, now 26, had inflicted at least 15 separate blows to the victim’s head on Friday March 11 that year.
He was handed a life sentence when he appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh in March.
Judge Lord Uist ordered him to spend at least 21 years behind bars before he can be considered for release.
“The degree of violence used was severe and extreme,” he said.
“This was on any view a very brutal murder.”
His attempt to appeal against the conviction and sentence has now been refused by appeal judges at a procedural stage, meaning a full court hearing on the matter will not take place.
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Mr McKandie had lived at his cottage since he was two.
A private man with a limited circle of friends, he had no children and never married.
He was well known in the north east of Scotland as a reliable handyman and mechanic.
Police initially thought Mr McKandie’s death may not have been caused by a criminal act and a review into the “unexplained” circumstances began.
The subsequent murder inquiry, led by Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, was one of the largest in the force’s history.
Its challenges and complexity was partly due to a lack of CCTV and the large number of customers the victim had.
Mr McKandie’s brutal demise began when he was first attacked outside his house, then dragged inside and further assaulted.
The victim, described by the judge as an “inoffensive and popular” man, was found to have injuries on his skull, scalp, face, shoulders and arms.