Book collector 'stabbed to death over £50,000 first edition of Wind in the Willows'

The post-mortem examination found the victim died from multiple stab wounds to the chest and neck

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The Independent Online

A man has been accused of stabbing to death an Oxford historian and author over a first edition copy of 'Wind in the Willows' worth around £50,000.

Michael Danaher, 50, is appearing at Oxford Crown Court on the charge of murdering Adrian Greenwood in the author's own home on April 6.

Danaher compiled a "clinical" spreadsheet list containing high-profile targets for theft, robbery and ransom demands, the court heard.

A buyer and seller of rare and valuable books, Mr Greenwood had more than 200 items for sale at the time of his death, 17 of which were worth more than £2,000.

Danaher had searched online for the homes of Eamonn Holmes and Michael Parkinson, Rio Ferdinand and Simon Cowell, the jury was told.

The body of the 42-year-old academic was discovered with stab wounds by his cleaner in the hall of his four-storey home in Iffley Road, Oxford, the day after his death.

His name was found on a list on the defendant's laptop and mobile phone.

Prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC told the court that Danaher planned to solve money problems by either stealing, robbing

Showing the jurors the list of targets, Mr Saxby said: "It exudes, we are going to suggest, a sense of resentment - even anger.

"It is almost as if these are people who, because of their wealth, and his lack of it, deserved to be subjected to what he has planned."

The post-mortem examination found the author died from multiple stab wounds to the chest and neck and had defensive wounds to his hands.

Danaher has denied murdering Mr Greenwood claiming self defence.

The trial continues.