Michael Abram escapes a prison sentence by reason of insanity...

MICHAEL ABRAM, the paranoid schizophrenic accused of the attempted murder of the former BEATLES guitarist GEORGE HARRISON, has been found not guilty by reason of insanity at OXFORD CROWN COURT this afternoon (November 15).

The jury consisting of six men and six women, returned after just one hour to return its verdict – after hearing evidence from psychologists that Abram, who believed he was the fifth Beatle and his victim was a witch – was insane.

Abram was also accused of the attempted murder of Harrison’s wife, Olivia Harrison.

In the case, the jury had been told that there was no dispute over whether the offences took place, rather whether Abram was insane at the time of the incident, at Henley-on-Thames on December 30 last year.

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in court psychologist Dr Phillip Joseph said during the time of the attack, Abram “was suffering from such a defect of reason that he did not believe it was wrong”. He added: “He believed his actions were justified. The actions were ordained by God, justified by the Bible and he needed to kill George Harrison because he Abram “was possessed by George Harrison – his life was falling apart, he was living in squalor. He was looking for a meaning to his life, but he was preoccupied by his mental illness.

“He was trying to make sense of what was going on in his mind. He began to realise that the person behind this was George Harrison and realised that he was the phantom menace. He was aware that John Lennon had previously said the Beatles were more famous than Jesus. He thought for a time it was Paul McCartney that was the phantom menace.”

Throughout the duration of the case, which was heard at Oxford Crown Court, Harrison told how he feared he was going to die after being repeatedly stabbed by the intruder in his Oxfordshire home.

In a statement, the guitarist said: “I vividly remember a thrust of the knife to my chest and a flow of blood to my mouth. I could feel the strength draining from me and hear my chest expelling air. I thought I’d been fatally stabbed.”

Harrison, not present yesterday also revealed he initially tried to distract Abram by shouting “Hare Krishna”. He then decided to confront the intruder because he feared for the safety of his wife and his mother-in-law.

Harrison’s wife, Olivia Harrison was present in court and described in detail how she used both a poker and a lamp to protect herself from the crazed attack after she saw her husband stabbed before the police arrived to bring the nightmare to a close.

It emerged that Abrams had been watching the star’s home for some time. The court heard that Abram thought a number of celebrities, including members of Oasis and Madonna, were conspiring against him.