A collector of rare books was brutally murdered at his home by an unemployed man who wanted to steal a first edition of Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows, Oxford Crown Court has been told.
Adrian Greenwood, 42, was discovered by a cleaner in the hall of his Oxford home on 7 April 2016 battered and stabbed 33 times. One wound was 10 cm deep.
Some knife wounds were shallow and police believe that Greenwood, a Christ Church College graduate, may have been tortured in a bid to make him reveal the whereabouts the 1908 book valued at £50,000 ($63,000). He also had defensive wounds on his hands. Michael Danaher, 50, of Peterborough, denies murdering Greenwood but admitted killing him in self defence.
Police traced the victim's phone to Danaher's flat and arrived to see him with a bruised face. He was taken to hospital where he reportedly said: "It might be better if they just let me die here. I make bad life choices, don't I?"
On searching Danaher's home police found the rare book, as well as a stun gun hidden in a camera and a "target list" of wealthy personalities on his computer.
These included Simon Cowell, Rio Ferdinand, Kate Moss, Jeffrey Archer and Lord Sugar as well as Mr Greenwood. The prosecution allege he planned to rob, kidnap or kill them for financial reward.
Prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC told the jury: "They were people of means, often with large houses from who he was planning to get money by going to their addresses and stealing and robbing and demanding a ransom.
"It is almost as if these are people who because of their wealth, and his lack of it, deserve to be subjected to what he has planned. And there is a callousness, we suggest, about the list," the Oxford Mail reported.
Danaher, who is separated, had no previous convictions and denies murder. The trial continues.