25-stone killer with ‘spreadsheet of death’ guilty of stabbing book dealer for his first edition of Wind In The Willows

Adrian Greenwood, as Michael Danaher, 50, has been found guilty of murdering the historian and book dealer at his home
Adrian Greenwood, as Michael Danaher, 50, has been found guilty of murdering the historian and book dealer at his home
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A 25-stone killer who brutally tortured and stabbed a book dealer to death in his own home after going to steal a £50,000 first edition of the Wind In The Willows has been jailed for 34 years.

Obese Michael Danaher, 50, murdered historian Adrian Greenwood in April after going to his house to steal the highly valuable 108-year-old copy of Kenneth Grahame’s classic novel.

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.

He he also searched online for the homes of TV presenters Eamonn Holmes and Michael Parkinson, footballer Rio Ferdinand and music mogul Simon Cowell.

Judge Ian Pringle QC, handing down a life sentence for the April 6 killing, said Danaher had stabbed his victim at least 16 times, plus numerous further “persuasion marks” made with a knife point.

Danaher remained impassive as the judge handed down the lengthy sentence for what he said had been a “savage stabbing” during a robbery that involved “significant planning and premeditation”.

Judge Pringle said: “Despite the fact that at 50 you had no previous convictions, warnings or cautions of any sort, it’s clear that during the course of 2015 you drew up this list - probably to rob or burgle people - or perhaps kidnap people and hold them to ransom, so as to gain funds for yourself.

“It’s clear from the timeline in this case you became almost obsessive about keeping up on famous celebrities.”

He added: “You inflicted upon Adrian Greenwood torture by way of the stab wounds, the knife-tip stab wounds, that he had on him.”

Danaher’s lawyer Amjad Malik QC had earlier told the court that because of his weight and related poor health, including diabetes, he would have “serious problems” in prison.

Father-of-two Danaher also took a selfie of himself after committing the murder, the court heard.

Mr Greenwood, an Oxford graduate, died after being stabbed in the throat and chest. He suffered more than 30 injuries in total, including defence wounds to his hands.

His right arm had been broken, probably by being stamped on, the judge said.

His body was found by his cleaner the following day - the same day Danaher took the Wind In The Willows book and put it up for sale on EBay.

Danaher, who was £13,000 in debt, also searched online for information about former FA chairman Greg Dyke and commentator Katie Hopkins, the court heard, along with “Louise Redknapp house” and “Lineker house”.

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

Giving evidence, Danaher 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.

The Northampton-born unemployed former John Lewis worker blamed the spreadsheet and web searches on a mysterious man who came to his flat and used his computer and mobile phone.

But he refused to identify him, saying he was afraid of the man and had received threats while on remand in prison.

The jury took three hours to convict him of murder after a three-week trial.

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

He received a concurrent seven-year sentence for possession of an offensive weapon. The prosecution offered no evidence to a further charge of blackmail.