Friday 9 December 2016

Man convicted of murdering historian over Wind in the Willows first edition

David Wilcock

Published 24/10/2016 | 15:25

Book dealer Adrian Greenwood was said to have been targeted because he owned a Wind In The Willows first edition
Book dealer Adrian Greenwood was said to have been targeted because he owned a Wind In The Willows first edition

A man has been convicted of murdering a historian and book dealer by stabbing him to death in his own home.

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Twenty-five stone Michael Danaher, 50, killed Adrian Greenwood in April after going to steal his £50,000 (€56,132) 108-year-old first edition copy of Kenneth Grahame's classic the Wind In The Willows.

Mr Greenwood, 42, was on a "clinical" spreadsheet list compiled by heavily-indebted Danaher, containing high-profile targets for theft, robbery and ransom demands, including supermodel Kate Moss and author Jeffrey Archer.

The defendant, from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, claimed at Oxford Crown Court he acted in self defence after Mr Greenwood attacked him when he went to buy books.

He also claimed the spreadsheet was compiled by a mystery man who he was afraid of, yet refused to name in court.

He nodded in the dock as the jury took less than three hours to find him guilty of murder after a trial lasting more than three weeks.

Mr Greenwood died after being stabbed in the throat and chest. He suffered more than 30 injuries.

His right arm had been broken, possibly by being stamped on, the jury was told.

His body was found by his cleaner the following day.

Danaher, who was £13,000 in debt, also searched online for the homes of TV presenters Eamonn Holmes and Michael Parkinson, footballer Rio Ferdinand and music mogul Simon Cowell.

Former FA chairman Greg Dyke and commentator Katie Hopkins were also included in his online searches, the court heard, as was "Louise Redknapp house" and "Lineker house".

The murder weapon and bloodied boots were also found at Danaher's flat in Hadrians Close.

Giving evidence, he claimed Mr Greenwood called him an "obese tosser" and came at him with a knife when he went to buy some books, and he was stabbed in a scuffle.

Danaher took the Wind In The Willows book and put it up for sale on eBay the following day, the trial heard.

The Northampton-born former John Lewis worker also told the court about the "unknown man" who came to his flat and used his computer and mobile phone.

But he refused to identify him, saying he had received threats while on remand in prison.

Police also found a stun gun at Danaher's flat, which he claimed was for protection from the "unknown man".

Press Association

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