Peterborough man to spend 34 years behind bars after being given life sentence for murder of Oxford historian

A Peterborough man has been found guilty of stabbing an Oxford historian to death - after a jury spent less than three hours considering their verdict.

Monday, 24th October 2016, 3:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:10 pm
Adrian Greenwood

Michael Danaher, 50, killed Adrian Greenwood after going to the latter’s Oxford home in April to steal his £50,000 1908 first edition copy of

Kenneth Grahame’s classic The Wind In The Willows.

Danaher 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.

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He was given a life sentence, with a minimum term of 34 years after the verdict was given.

Mr Greenwood is alleged to have been on a “clinical” spreadsheet list compiled by Danaher, containing high-profile targets for theft, robbery and ransom demands - including supermodel Kate Moss and author Jeffrey Archer.

The accused, 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, the court was told.

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”.

Danaher, of Hadrians Court, Peterborough, told his trial at Oxford Crown Court he acted in self-defence after Greenwood, a buyer and seller of rare and valuable books, suddenly flew into a rage at the Iffley Road house on April 6.

Giving evidence, Danaher, who weighed 25 stone at the time of the incident, said Mr Greenwood, 42, called him an “obese tosser” and came at him with a knife when he went to buy some books.

Northampton-born former John Lewis worker Danaher also told the court that the spreadsheet and online searches were carried out by another man, whom he was afraid of and who came to his flat to use his computer and phone. He refused to name the man in court.

Mr Greenwood died after being stabbed in the throat and chest. His body was found by his cleaner the following day, the trial heard.