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The BBC's Stephen Cape
"The 34 year old intruder believed he was possessed"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 14 November, 2000, 17:15 GMT
Harrison: I thought I was dying
Olivia and George Harrison
Olivia and George Harrison: Only Olivia was in court
Ex-Beatle George Harrison has told a court he thought he had been fatally stabbed by an intruder at his home last December.

Michael Abram, 34, of Huyton, Merseyside, is accused of trying to kill Mr Harrison, 57, and his wife Olivia, 52, after breaking into his home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

There was blood on the walls, blood on my hands and I realised that we were going to be murdered

Olivia Harrison
Mr Abram is also accused of injuring the star's wife, Olivia, 52, at their 30-acre estate during the night of 30 December last year.

He has denied two counts of attempted murder by reason of insanity.

The jury will have to decide whether Mr Abram was sane or insane when the alleged attack took place.

The former Beatle made a full recovery from the attack and gave evidence to Oxford Crown Court in a written statement.

"I shouted at him 'Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna'," he said.

"I vividly remember a deliberate thrust of the knife towards my chest. I felt my chest deflate and the flow of blood towards my mouth.

"I believed I had been fatally stabbed."

The court heard how the couple were awoken by a crashing noise at 0330 GMT.

Michael Abram
Michael Abram denies the charges
Mr Abram ran up the stairs clutching a knife and a pole from a broken statue, and began attacking Mr Harrison, the jury was told.

Mrs Harrison told the jury how she tried to save her husband from the intruder.

She said she searched for a weapon, grabbing a brass poker from another room and then found the pair grappling by a statue on the landing.

"I've never seen my husband look like that. I raised my hand and hit the man on the back of the head as many times as I could, as hard as I could. My husband said: `Get him, get him'."

Mrs Harrison was then knocked backwards by Mr Abram and found herself lying at his feet on the landing, she said.

"There was blood on the walls, blood on my hands and I realised that we were going to be murdered and this man was succeeding in murdering us and there was absolutely nobody else there to help."

Simon Mayo, prosecuting, told the jury earlier: "It was a very serious attack committed by the defendant on the famous musician George Harrison and also a serious attack on his wife Olivia."

He said that there would be no dispute in the case that it was Mr Abram who broke into the couple's home.

"The central issue to resolve in the case is whether at the time of the incident, the defendant was sane or insane," said Mr Mayo.

Olivia Harrison
Olivia Harrison, wife of Beatle George, arrives at court

The "attack" ended after police stormed the house and arrested Mr Abram, Mr Mayo said.

Mr Mayo added: "He [Mr Abram] thought he had been sent on a mission by God to kill George Harrison."

The husband and wife were taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital where Mr Harrison was treated for multiple stab wounds.

A psychiatrist who interviewed Mr Abram deemed him unfit for police interrogation, the court was told.

The jury was told that Mr Abram had travelled down to Oxfordshire on a number of occasions to find out where Mr Harrison lived and had on one occasion asked a cleric about the geography of the area.

Mr Abram's trial is expected to last three to four days.

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