Family’s grief as man convicted of mechanic’s murder

The family of murdered mechanic Brian McKandie has spoken of their grief after a man was found guilty at the High Court.

Mr McKandie, 67, was found dead in his home in Rothienorman on March 12 2016.

It sparked a major investigation and the case featured on BBC One’s Crimewatch before the arrest of Steven Sidebottom almost a year later.

The 25-year-old was convicted at the High Court in Aberdeen on Friday.

Brian McKandie with two great-nieces
Brian McKandie with his two great-nieces (Police Scotland/PA)

Mr McKandie’s family said in a statement released by police: “Whatever the outcome at court today, the fact remains that Brian is no longer with us.

“He was a much-loved and respected member of the community – a hard-working and quiet man who wouldn’t have done anyone a bad turn.

“Every day we think about what happened to Brian in the home he lived his whole life, and every day we struggle to understand why this happened to him.

“The reality is we will never understand why Brian – a complete gentleman – died in such a brutal and senseless way, and it is something we will never come to terms with.”

They added: “As a family we are extremely pleased with and welcome today’s outcome, however, it doesn’t bring Brian back.

“We would like to thank the public for your help and support throughout this investigation and to everyone involved in bringing this case to court.”

Brian McKandie d
Mr McKandie’s body was discovered at his home in Rothienorman (Police Scotland/PA)

Detective Superintendent Iain Smith said: “I welcome the conviction of Steven Sidebottom today for the cold and calculated murder of Brian McKandie.

“Brian was a quiet, unassuming man who had proved himself over the years to be an honest and reliable handyman and mechanic.

“He didn’t advertise his services but still had customers visit him every day from across the north east through word of mouth because they knew he would get the job done and do it well.

“Given the private person Brian was he didn’t have a lot of close friends and didn’t let anyone into his home.

“The fact he was murdered within his own house – the place he had lived since he was two-years-old – made this crime all the more callous.”

He added: “It has now been three years since Brian died.

“To date Sidebottom has shown no remorse for his actions nor offered any explanation as to why an innocent man had to die, but starting today he must now face the consequences of robbing another person of their life.”

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