Man accused of murdering an Oxford historian allegedly had a list of high-profile extortion targets


Michael Danaher is accused of murdering a high-profile Oxford historian, and a court has heard he also compiled a list of high-profile targets for extortion.

Danaher allegedly compiled a "clinical" spreadsheet list of high-profile targets including Jeffrey Archer and Kate Moss for theft, robbery and ransom demands.

He also searched online for the homes of TV presenters Eamonn Holmes and Michael Parkinson, footballer Rio Ferdinand and music mogul Simon Cowell, saving these under a folder with the same name, the court was told.

Simon Cowell.

50-year-old Danaher from Peterborough is currently on trial for the murder of Adrian Greenwood on April 6. The body of the Oxford University-educated academic was discovered with multiple stab wounds in the hall of his home the following day.

Greenwood's name was found on a list on the defendant's laptop and mobile phone. Also on the spreadsheet list under the heading "Enterprises", were high-profile "people with means" from whom he was planning to get money, including novelist Lord Archer and supermodel Kate Moss, prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC said.

Kate Moss.

He described the list as "efficient, and considered and really quite brutal", and said it read like "an everyday list of people to see, things to do".

Danaher planned to get this money by either stealing, robbing the targets' homes or by demanding a ransom by kidnapping an occupant, Saxby said.

Greenwood was a buyer and seller of valuable books, and is believed to have been targeted because he owned a £50,000 first edition of The Wind In The Willows, published in 1908. The classic by Kenneth Grahame was worth a "mouth-watering sum" because it came with an original dust cover.

Adrian Greenwood.

Showing jurors the list, the prosecutor 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 the wealth, and his lack of it, deserved to be subjected to what he has a planned."

Danaher, who was unemployed and separated from a wife with whom he has two sons, had been experiencing money problems for "a while", the court was told.

He had been considering unlawful means of solving these problems, with his internet history showing he had been researching rich people since 2015, Saxby said.

Next to the spreadsheet entry for private equity boss Guy Hands the phrase "Why scum Tory" was allegedly written.

Rio Ferdinand.

Saxby said: "It wasn't simply the rich and the famous... the common theme was people with money, some of whom were rich and celebrities."

The court heard that Greenwood could be a "difficult" person who had several previous altercations, including one where he drove his car slowly at two council workers in a dispute over parking, causing them to fall over.

But he was also described by friends as "very kind" and "sensitive", someone who "felt strongly about what was right and what was wrong", Saxby said.

Jeffrey Archer.

Hours after Greenwood's murder, Danaher accessed his "Enterprises" list, presumably to remove his name, jurors were told. Danaher is claiming self-defence, Saxby said.

He said the evidence that the defendant knew Adrian Greenwood, and attended his address on April 6 was "utterly overwhelming." Danaher denies murder, and the trial continues.