Sixfields developer Howard Grossman and Adam Simmonds were ‘researched’ by murder suspect as potential kidnap victims, court hears

Howard Grossman, pictured at Sixfields in 2013. Mr Grossman was director of 1st Land, the company set up to oversee the stadium develpment there.
Howard Grossman, pictured at Sixfields in 2013. Mr Grossman was director of 1st Land, the company set up to oversee the stadium develpment there.

A property developer at the centre of the Sixfields loan controversy and Northamptonshire’s former crime commissioner were “researched” by a suspected murderer as potential “kidnap” victims, a court has heard.

Michael Danaher, 50, of Hadrian’s Court, Peterborough, is on trial at Oxford Crown Court for the alleged murder of book dealer Adrian Greenwood.

The prosecution says Danaher savagely stabbed Greenwood as part of an attempt to steal a rare fist edition of Wind in the Willows from his flat, thought to be worth £50,000.

But evidence detailed by prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC on Monday, alleged a spreadsheet found on Danaher’s computer listed names of 14 other people “of means” he intended to steal from or kidnap.

People on the list, he said, included model Kate Moss and author Jeffrey Archer as well as Bushey-based property developer Howard Grossman.

Mr Grossman was the director of 1st Land, the company that received the majority of a £10.25 million loan to revamp Sixfields stadium through 2013 and 2014.

And the Guardian has further reported that analysis of Danaher’s laptop found the accused had also “researched and saved” the home addresses of known figures such as Simon Cowell, Katie Hopkins and Northamptonshire’s former police and crime commissioner Adam Simmonds.

Danaher’s intention was “to get money” by going to the houses of wealthy people and robbing them, Mr Saxby said.

The prosecutor added that the spreadsheet was “considered in its own way, and efficient, and really quite brutal” and also had details of valuables, weapons and family members of his planned victims.

The weapon listed in many cases was “stun gun”, and one was found in Mr Danaher’s flat by police.

Mr Saxby told the jury: “Note its tone. It exudes a certain sense of resentment, even anger.

“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.”

Mr Saxby said Mr Greenwood’s name was on the list next to a note that read: “Modus: Any!! Expected take: Rare books.”

Mr Greenwood was found repeatedly stabbed and stamped on at his four-storey home in Oxford in April.

Other people on the spreadsheet included venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft, TV pawnbroker Adam Hatfield, and financial investor Guy Hand.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.