Peterborough murder suspect tells court “unknown man” created hit list of celebrities and high-profile targets

Adrian Greenwood

Adrian Greenwood

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A Peterborough man accused of murdering a rare book dealer claims an “unknown man” created a list of celebrity and high-profile targets, a court has heard.

Michael Danaher, 50, is on trial accused of murdering Oxford University-educated academic Adrian Greenwood, who was discovered with stab wounds by his cleaner in the hall of his four-storey home in Iffley Road, Oxford on April 7.

The prosecution alleges that a list of celebrities and high-profile targets for theft, robbery and ransom demands was discovered on Danaher’s laptop on a document called enterprises.

Internet searches for the addresses of people including TV presenter Eamonn Holmes, Gary Lineker and Louise Redknapp had also been carried out.

But giving evidence at Oxford Crown Court on Monday, Danaher said he had discovered someone who was referred to in court as “unknown man”, and who he refused to name, had created the list while using his laptop in his flat.

When he questioned the man - who he would only say was of a “large build” - after finding the document, Danaher said: “He told me it had nothing to f****** do with me.”

He added: “He said I would get f****** hurt if I said anything to anyone.”

Danaher also told the jury that he had threats made against him in prison about giving evidence, and has been warned that if he does identify the man, there “would be consequences for him and his family”.

Danaher, of Hadrians Court, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, told the court he first met Mr Greenwood, 42, at an auction in Henley-on-Thames at the end of 2015, where he had just bought some books. He said the pair chatted, describing him as a “very sociable nice guy”.

“He knew far more about them than I did. Just the way he spoke about things, he knew his stuff,” he said.

When questioned about searches on his mobile phone which included “Adrian Greenwood rare books” and those relating to The Wind In The Willows, he said this must have been him and he was just “looking at how he was advertising things”.

The court also heard how Danaher visited Mr Greenwood at his home on March 17 - he said he apologised for not being there on a previous visit and they had a “chat for a while”.

He said he bought some books and told Mr Greenwood he would be back in two or three weeks. When he returned on April 6, he said he was invited into the house but that Mr Greenwood had not been expecting him.

When questioned about laptop searches across April 5 and April 6 covering a 22-hour period, including “rich singletons”, “getting away with murder”, “guns”, “safes”, “Wind In The Willows Sotheby’s” and “Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit”, he denied they were made by him.

Mr Greenwood, a buyer and seller of rare and valuable books, is believed to have been targeted because he owned a £50,000 first edition of The Wind In The Willows, published in 1908, the court has previously heard.