Oxford

Adrian Greenwood stabbing: Book dealer 'held washing machine man hostage'

Adrian Greenwood
Image caption Book dealer Adrian Greenwood could be "vitriolic, snappy and sneering", his ex-girlfriend said

A book dealer who was allegedly stabbed for a rare copy of Wind in the Willows had a temper and once held a washing machine engineer hostage, a court has heard.

Adrian Greenwood, 42, was found dead at his four-storey Oxford house in April.

Ex-girlfriend Evelyn Altemeyer said Mr Greenwood had also been "blacklisted" by a post office for attacking a postman.

Michael Danaher, 50, of Hadrians Court, Peterborough, denies murdering him.

Ms Altemeyer was the stabbed book dealer's partner between 2001 and 2012 and said he was "often in fights" and "could be really aggressive".

'Functioning alcoholic'

In her statement she said: "He was very antagonistic and was blacklisted by the post office after attacking a postman.

"He had a short fuse, was a heavy drinker but was never physically violent [to me].

"He was on anti-depressants in 2011 and held a man hostage who was installing a washing machine because of a problem with its door."

She also described him as a "functioning alcoholic" who could be "vitriolic, snappy and sneering".

Image caption Mr Greenwood was found stabbed at his four-storey Oxford house in April

A friend called Martha Stewart, who Mr Greenwood went to Christ Church College with in 1991, said he could be "defensive and aggressive, like a cross little boy".

Mr Danaher's estranged wife Elaine Danaher also gave evidence.

They were married for 12 years and split in 2012 - they have two sons, aged 15 and nine, he would see on weekends.

She said he admitted to having a temper when he was younger.

The jury also heard from Michael Gillnagh, who said he had known Mr Danaher since they were children, and who visited him in prison after he was arrested.

He said Mr Danaher told him "it's not as bad as it sounds" and that he "knew the other fella [Mr Greenwood] and had had dealings with him in the past".

Mr Gillnagh said he was told they had been in the house arguing and the "fella came at him with a knife, so he grabbed the knife and started punching him".

Mr Danaher then became "tearful", according to the witness.

Previously the court was told a spreadsheet on the defendant's computer had names of "people of means" who he intended to steal from or kidnap, including Kate Moss and Jeffrey Archer.

The prosecution alleges Mr Greenwood's stabbing centred around a plan to steal a first edition of Wind in the Willows worth £50,000, which turned up on eBay for £2,000.

The trial continues.

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