Killer who took selfie after murdering book dealer jailed for 34 years

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A 25-stone killer who tortured and murdered a book dealer during a robbery targeting a £50,000 first edition of The Wind In The Willows, before posing for a bloody doorstep "selfie", has been jailed for 34 years.

Michael Danaher, 50, stabbed historian Adrian Greenwood more than 30 times in his own home in April after going to his house in Oxford to steal the valuable 108-year-old copy of Kenneth Grahame's classic novel.

He spent two hours in the house, during which he tortured Mr Greenwood, 42, with a knife. The cold-blooded killer then posed for a selfie with blood on his face as he left the murder scene with the book and other stolen items.

Danaher's trial at Oxford Crown Court heard that Mr Greenwood, 42, was on a "clinical" spreadsheet list compiled by the heavily indebted defendant, containing high-profile targets for theft, robbery and ransom demands, including supermodel Kate Moss and author Jeffrey Archer.

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 stabbed his victim at least 16 times, and numerous "persuasion marks" were also made with a knife point.

He told the impassive Danaher that he carried out 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 told the court that because of his client's weight and related poor health, including diabetes, the killer would have "serious problems" in prison.

Mr Greenwood, an Oxford graduate, met Danaher in late 2015 at an auction.

He died after being stabbed in the throat and chest. His right arm had also 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.

Mr Greenwood's family issued a short statement saying they were "pleased justice has been done for Adrian through this conviction".

Detective Superintendent Kevin Brown, from Thames Valley Police, speaking outside court, said: "Today's conviction is not going to bring them comfort but I can say that they are satisfied that the person that has taken away their loved one has been punished severely."

Mr Brown added: "It was two hours before Danaher left the house with a number of items. Such was his arrogance he even took a selfie on the way out from the address."

Unemployed 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 found at his flat in Hadrians Close, Peterborough.

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 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 the man in court, saying he was afraid of him and had received threats while on remand in prison.

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

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

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