Investigation launched after Oxford art dealer found murdered in own home

The victim had written a number of books and sold art by Banksy 

Will Worley
Sunday 10 April 2016 15:26
Adrian Greenwood was found stabbed to death
Adrian Greenwood was found stabbed to death

Police have launched a murder investigation after an Oxford art dealer was found dead after a “vicious and sustained attack” at his home in the city.

Adrian Greenwood, 42, was found by his cleaner with numerous stab wounds at his house on Iffley Road, close to the city centre.

Thames Valley Police had arrested a 26-year-old man on suspicion of murder but he was later released without charge.

Head of the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit, Det Supt Chris Ward, said: “We believe that Mr Greenwood was an historian, biographer, author and a dealer in art, cars and other historic artefacts. He was usually smartly dressed, and often wore a tweed jacket.

Mr Greenwood's body was found at his house on Iffley Road in Oxford

“We believe that an altercation has taken place in the hallway of his house. The post mortem confirmed that Mr Greenwood died following a vicious and sustained attack. It is very likely that the offender may have injuries as a result of this altercation.

“We are keeping an open mind in terms of the motive and whilst we have already made an arrest in connection with this investigation, I anticipate further arrests will be made as the investigation continues."

Mr Greenwood, an Oxford alumnus, wrote two historical biographies and traded rare and antiquarian books, including texts which he provided to the British Library and Getty Museum, his website claims.

He was responsible for the sale of a £60,000 piece by the graffiti artist Banksy in April 2011, according to the BBC.

Mr Greenwood’s website also stated that his first book, Victoria's Scottish Lion, a biography of British Army officer Sir John Campbell, was nominated for the Templar Medal Book Prize.

His most recent text, Through Spain With Wellington, was published in March.

A special collector of Harry Potter books, Mr Greenwood gained national media attention in November 2010 when one of his first edition novels, worth £6,000, was stolen from an exhibition gallery in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

According to the Oxford Mail, the thief attempted to return the book in a carrier bag following the public interest in the story, but was caught by police and later jailed for six weeks.

A graduate of politics, philosophy and economics from Christchurch College, Oxford, Mr Greenwood followed in his former history teacher's footsteps by becoming an historian and biographer in his own right.

Mr Greendwood's violent death has shocked the usually quiet neighbourhood.

Local Policing Area Commander for Oxford, Supt. Christian Bunt, said: “I would like to reassure people that this type of murder is extremely rare in Oxford and we are doing everything we can to establish the circumstances of Adrian Greenwood’s murder.

“We have had specialist search teams at the scene, including a police dog. Further, we have also undertaken some house to house enquiries, with more house to house enquiries expected to be carried out over the coming days.

“Our condolences and thoughts are with Mr Greenwood’s family at this difficult time. They have asked that their privacy is respected.”

The police have appealed for any information regarding the case. Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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