Many of us will have often said that we would kill for a rare copy of our favourite book, but it’s a tongue in cheek comment. However, today Oxford Crown Court is hearing a murder case based exactly on that premise.
Art dealer, Adrian Greenwood was found fatally stabbed at his Oxford home in April, and Michael Danaher is today in court for his violent murder. Danaher is said to have specifically targeted Greenwood over his collection of rare books, including a first edition of The Wind in the Willows, worth £50,000.
When Danaher was arrested, police found a list of notable people on his laptop, each listed with valuable items worth stealing, in this case rare books. Other well known figures were on the list, including Kate Moss, and each of the fourteen ‘people of means’ listed were shown with the valuable items intended for theft.
In Mr Greenwood’s case it was the rare copy of The Wind in the Willows, a first edition fully illustrated Frankenstein, an oil painting by George Bernard Shaw, and a 16th Century Bible.
Danaher admits killing Adrian Greenwood but says he acted in self defence, but it’s argued that the items found on the defendants laptop, and this list of suspects shows intent. It’s also suspected that Danaher attempted to enter venture capitalist, Adrian Beecroft’s house a few weeks before the murder, another of the fourteen people on the list found on Danaher’s laptop.
The whole reads like a plot from a mystery novel, but sadly it’s all too real for Adrian Greenwood and his family. The trial is expected to last three weeks.