BEATLE GLUM

The ex-Beatle and wife Olivia claim the proposals don't go far enough...

Former BEATLE GEORGE HARRISON and his wife OLIVIA have spoken out against proposed reforms in the UK’s mental health act, several weeks after a mentally ill man was found not guilty by reason of insanity of attempted murder after a knife attack on the pair in their home.

In a letter to yesterday’s (December 18) Independent On Sunday newspaper, the couple welcomed changes proposed by Health Secretary Alan Milburn but still claimed they didn’t go far enough.

Milburn’s white paper about to go before parliament for approval suggests allowing victims to be told when their attackers are to be released.

“Since the attack, we have had a number of letters – both from people revealing horrendous attacks on them or their children by mentally ill people who have been released too early from mental hospitals, as well as parents of paranoid schizophrenics who have been treated with shameful inadequacy.

It went on, “There clearly need to be much stricter criteria applied and although it is impossible to generalise, clearly major mistakes are being made regularly with devastating results, as in our case.”

Michael Abram, a paranoid schizophrenic, broke into the Harrison’s home in Henley-on-Thames on December 30, 1999 and stabbed the ex-Beatle, puncturing his lung during the frenzied attack.

At his trial in November, Abram was found not guilty of attempted murder by reason of insanity.